Tuesday, July 16, 2019

50 years

50 years ago today saw the launch of Apollo 11 and arguably the most significant
achievement of the 20th century, perhaps of human history. I was very fortunate
to be around during the days of Apollo as a young teenager. I vividly remember
following all the Apollo missions as an avid space and science geek. I watched
mesmerized as Eagle landed on the moon and Armstrong and Aldrin took those first
steps. The 60s were an amazing time to be alive, rock and roll was at its height with
the Beatles, the Stones, and so many more great artists. It was also the time of civil
rights and anti-war protests. I still remember seeing smoke curling up from downtown
Detroit in the summer of 1967, as I watched on the banks of the Detroit River from
Windsor. Despite the tumultuous times, Apollo 11 reverberated around the world and
was - and still is - an amazing accomplishment. To think the computers that got us there
and back were so much less powerful than the ones we carry in our pockets today.
I remember the entire family sitting around our TV set in our basement recreation room
watching spellbound and hearing those immortal words, “Houston, Tranquility base here,
the Eagle has landed." Here we are 50 years later and I get to look back on this
exciting event and enjoy the numerous documentaries and specials reliving the event,
all with the knowledge that I actually witnessed it as it occurred. It is amazing, and yet
demoralizing, that we have accomplished so much, yet have so far to go when we
look at the hatred and narrow mindedness exhibited by so many people who have
power. I hope the next 50 years sees us attack our current problems - climate change,
racism, etc. -  and conquer them as well.

One of many videos about Apollo online.

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