I have to admit something, I don’t throw this around lightly, but, I am a huge fan of NASA and space exploration. This is something that I have always been fascinated by. It is unbelievable that humans have created these crafts that launch us into the great unknown of space.
Generations before the first space race, people looked at the stars and wondered what was out there. Never in their wildest dreams could they ever imagine that one-day humans would walk on the moon.
I watched a documentary recently called “In The Shadow Of The Moon“. This was highlighting the many Apollo missions that were set to go to the moon. I saw these brave men step up to pursue something that had never been done, something that could ultimately cost them their lives. It would inevitably take the lives of 3 men before they even left the earth.
Before you go off and stop reading, this isn’t an article highlighting our achievements in the space race or since. In the documentary I watched I noticed something that rattled me, something that begged for attention.
I noticed that when these men took the assignment to change the world, they were seen as heroes, game changers, brave hearts. The people viewed them as men who were willing to put everything on the line for the sake of exploration.
The sake of exploration, something that I feel we’ve lost over the years. The men of Apollo 11 set out to be the first of our kind to step foot on an alien planet. To skip the details of their mission, they succeeded in landing on the moon and making “one small step for man, one giant leap mankind“.
It was an iconic day, something to be remembered, words that would echo throughout the world and ring in the ears of the people for decades. One thing I noticed from the footage is that the whole world was watching, for a couple of days everyone was tuned in to see the fuss about these Americans landing on the moon.
I saw people of all nationalities, all races, all languages, waving American flags and cheering on the brave men that were a world away. This shocked me to see, why? Well, I’m glad you asked. When was the last time you saw the world unite and cheer on one another?
Everyone was in the streets chanting and cheering as the astronauts were advancing toward the moon to forever change the face of the planet the left behind. It seemed that at that moment, everyone was on the same team.
I watched as this footage panned across the timeline of weeks and months, the astronauts returned as heroes, and started their worldwide parade of victory. When they interviewed people they would say “as a Frenchman how does this make you feel?” or “As someone who is from China how do you feel?”.
The answer was amazing, and something that I realized most likely would not be the case today. They would say “I just can’t believe we did it”. We. No “they” or “them” but We. For a moment we stood as one.
I think that back then people actually had pride in our nation. People actually welled up at the thought of being apart of such a place. I think today we lack that sense of pride, that even among the political drama, and the racial divide that can’t seemingly be broke, we have to realize it’s not about where we come from, what party we vote for on election day or the color of our skin.
I think what matters is that we start to believe again in the nation that our moms, dads, and grandparents were so proud of.