Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In a time when our entire civilization was held hostage by two superpowers and our own nation was struggling with massive internal strife we did the impossible. Even in our most tumultuous times humans are capable of greatness. The irony in the whole thing is we used much of the very same technology that threatened our extinction in accomplishing the Apollo program. Proof that our ingenuity is often a double edged sword. Today we face other challenges created by our own cleverness. Hopefully we will use our time and energy wisely to overcome those problems.
Buzz Aldrin's boot print on the moon
In a few thousand years, long after the people talk about the Americans as we talk about the Romans, ancient Chinese dynasties or the Aztecs today, history books will talk about our civilization's legacy and those who did great things. The great men and women of our time will largely be a footnote. I'd wager that few would remember the Clintons, Bushs, Roosevelts, Kennedys, Lincolns or Obamas. Just as most people today can't name probably more than a few Roman emperors, senators or Chinese dynasties. However three names will be probably come to mind when their history books talk of the Americans: Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. The photo of a single boot print on another world presented in the same chapter. A reminder of a time when we first escaped the bounds of our planetary cradle and started to take our place as explorers of the cosmos. Perhaps their history books will have other tales of similar experiences on other worlds by other humans. One can imagine.
I'll leave you with a video by Mr Reid Gower who has rehashed some of the words of Carl Sagan. I wasn't alive during the Apollo program so the video and descriptions of those who were is all I have to go on. However I think this video describes the experience well.