From the Moon to the Abyss
“…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11 proclaimed these words on the surface of the moon on this day back in 1969. This moment defined the United States as the world leader in space travel. For the first time in history, humans had landed on the moon. We were not on top of the world, we were above it. The Space Race was over and the United States had won. We were #1.
Nearly a decade was dedicated to achieving the mission of venturing not only into space, but a place we could only before look at with wide-eyed wonderment and curiosity: the moon. A challenge was presented and with hard work and determination completed despite incredible obstacles. It was inspiring and triumphant. (Cue “The Launch” from the ‘Armageddon’ soundtrack). It was an American moment.
Fast forward to July 20, 2012 and it feels as if we’ve missed our target. Instead, we’re slowly floating away from the place we know we should be landing in order to make groundbreaking new discoveries. Current policy needs dramatic changes and some politicians need to be replaced. The mission isn’t clear and there is nobody leading the charge. This all feels uneasy and even downright wrong to many. Quite frankly, it feels un-American in the sense that struggling in all the ways we are is what other countries do, but not US.
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” President John F. Kennedy
Who will be the big dreamer and have that winning mentality to lead a nation into a space we’ve never been before? The American people want it, the country deserves it and the world needs it. The United States and its people need a defining moment, one that will change the course of history for the better as the U.S. has done so many times in its young and impressive history. In 1969, the U.S. was #1. It takes exceptionally hard work and vision to remain the best. The question is who has the flashlight to direct us out of the darkness and proudly plant the American flag into the ground to declare victory and superiority like three brave astronauts did 43 years ago on the moon? I repeat, the moon.