The Eagle has Landed
Forty years ago, today, mankind made the first, tenuous footsteps on the surface of another world. The fact that a few brave men were willing to put their lives in a tiny tin can strapped to a monumental column of explosives with fewer brains than a simple pocket calculator and leave, for the first time ever the only cradle of life we know, for exploration and science, this fact makes me so indescribably proud to be a member of the human race I am truthfully in tears right now. The moon has been a member of our mythologies since before we’ve even had words to speak, but only in the last 40 years, of the 200,000 or so of humanity, and the 4 billion or so of our pale blue dot’s life, have we been able to reach out and touch it .
The beautiful, silent ballet of our planet and her younger sister, spinning round and round each other, never touching for billions of years, until three apes connect the two with bits of metal, a blanket of borrowed atmosphere, and an unparalleled spirit of adventure. Never before had there been anything capable looking, and seeing the fragility of our evolutionary forge in its tender completeness, occupying a spot that in a sky reserved for the very place these voyagers were now placing the first footsteps. For that one moment, July 16th, 1969, the entire world lived in those footsteps, and we could, if only for that moment, see a future where the numerous and frivolous differences that exist between the apes were as insignificant and trivial as it could only appear from the vantage point of another world. “Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.” These words now sit on the surface of our dance partner, perhaps to be undisturbed for the next billion years. But for now, we should heartily celebrate the achievement and ingenuity that allowed us to make those steps.