Watching the movie “First Man” yesterday about Neil Armstrong’s life, and about America putting men on the moon was a stark reminder of where we have been as a country, as opposed to where we are now.
The strength, resolve and focus that we had as a country to go to the moon…to beat the Russians in our space program, was something which inspired and united us as a people. I know there were a few detractors who protested about the money being spent on that program, and that protest was addressed in the movie.
Overall though, it was a matter of togetherness that included most Americans. Was there a black astronaut at first? A woman? No there was not. I do firmly believe however, that the overall encompassing reach of the program, on all levels…not just the men who composed the crews, led to more inclusion, faster than in other areas of our countries culture.
I know that as far as me personally, the space program was a part of my childhood, which I cannot separate from my psyche. It was an excitement, and an interest from the days of Sputnik and Telstar, all the way through the Mercury program, with pictures of Alan Shepherd and John Glenn taped to the headboard of my bed, right next to JFK’s and RFK’s. It continued through Gemini, with all its tragic deaths….finally into the Apollo program. My favorite photo of all time was from Apollo 8, the first photo of our beautiful blue marble hanging out there in space, like the last gorgeous Christmas ornament hanging lonely but divine on the tree being taken down for the year.
I think perhaps my somewhat obsessive need to photograph the moon, and watch the skies, stems from my childhood wonder with putting men into outer space.
Paula and I were more amazed than ever before about our ability as human beings to do such hard and complicated things with such “primitive” equipment. Now that we have increased our technical knowledge so exponentially we should be able to perform miracles. Maybe, we have indeed done so already in our creation of two new “types” of vaccines which we have never had before for this deadly disease which is disrupting our world and killing so many people. Such brilliant technology for use here on Earth, inside the “outer space of our inner bodies”
I hope all of this will one day lead to our exploration of our Universe. I hope mankind can get past our unsavory nature and evolve into people who can love and respect each other. Can we get past the point where we want to kill each other and focus all of that energy on loving each other? If we can ever do that, there’s no limit to the miracles we can create.