Fifty

Fifty years ago today, the United States launched Apollo 11. A few days later Neil Armstrong would utter those famous words ” (for which he would, no doubt, be railroaded today), “That’s one small step for (a?) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The “a” is added parenthetically because Armstrong vehemently asserted that is what he said despite the audio evidence to the contrary. Speach and audio analysts have examined the recording, and some make the case that many from Armstrong’s native Ohio often combine the words “for a” to “fora.”

The fact that I have to describe this is more a commentary on the era of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing than the day the event occurred.

Back then, there was only the beginning of the Great Divide that marks our society today.

But that is not the point.

What is of more significance is that the moon landing took place a little over a year removed from the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and the Democratic Convention in Chicago.

The war in Viet Nam was still raging in 1969. Because the Democrats were so divided in 1968, Nixon was President in 1969. Race relations were abysmal, and the women’s movement was in its infancy.

Life was not pretty in 1969.

Nevertheless, for one week in July, our nation forgot its immediate past and marveled at its future. Landing humans on the moon was a historic First Step. There would be many more exciting achievements ahead. Colonies on the moon, voyages to the planets and all the good things that science promised were at our doorstep.

While it is easy to lament our lack of achievement, to do so would be a mistake. For one thing, if I had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 1969, I wouldn’t be here to write this. My wife would probably not have survived back in 1969.

Chemo and other therapies have been developed and have saved thousands if not millions of lives. Science has delivered.

Are there challenges that remain? Of course. Are we capable of facing these challenges? Yes, we are.

First, we have to accept our humanity. We are not pronouns. We are not a race. We are not a gender. We are not a sexual orientation. We are not a color. We are not a hairstyle.

If people want to limit us to these characteristics, shame on them, don’t let them do it. See each other in the total humanity of our being.

Talk about a small step and a giant leap!

 

First, we have to accept our humanity. We are not pronouns. We are not a race. We are not a gender. We are not a sexual orientation. We are not a color. We are not a hair style.

If people want to limit us to these characteristics, shame on them. Don’t let them do it. See each other in the total humanity of our being.

Talk about a small step and a giant leap!

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