Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Words Matter Week Day 2

Now for today’s question, which is:

Words can change history. What speech or document do you believe to be most important. Why?

Again, there are millions of speeches and documents that have been important in the history of not only our country, but for the world, as well.

Looking at this question from a contemporary point of view, there is one sentence that always sticks out in my mind:

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” ~ Neil Armstrong

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon’s surface. Looking at that event today, it probably doesn’t mean much to a lot of people. After all, this is the generation of the space shuttle, which has accomplished a number of tasks that weren’t even thought of 42 years ago.

In fact, I remember watching the movie “Apollo 13” when my son was in grade school. That was in 1995 so he would have been 11 years old. He seemed to enjoy the movie, but as it drew to a close, he looked at me with a smile and said, “Can you imagine if we really had rockets like that?”

I just about fell out of my chair! Of course, we had rockets like that at one time. But as a product of this space shuttle generation, he had no clue at the time that those rockets ever existed.

Yet, without those early moon landings and Armstrong’s walk on the surface, where would our space program be today? We (and by that, I mean our country) proved it was possible to put man on the moon and we were able to move forward from there.

Has the expense of the space missions been justified and proven to be a benefit for each country involved? That’s a matter of opinion. But there was definitely something special about gathering around the TV that night to watch Armstrong climb down that ladder. I know it’s a sight I’ll never forget. And it's also why I find that one sentence so very important.

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