As a youngster I was a huge fan of the U.S. space program. I remember watching with rapt attention each and every space launch our country made, going all the way back to the beginning with the Mercury program. I followed our progress with Gemini, and then the Apollo program and the race to the moon.
I was genuinely saddened when the three astronauts were killed in the Apollo training accident. To me it was like losing family members. I had grown so close to these fearless men who carried the weight of the nation’s reputation on their shoulders. The subsequent losses of the Challenger and Colombia Space Shuttle crews were devastating as well, even though I was no longer a young boy and my life had taken me in a different direction than becoming a ‘star voyager’.
I can recall sitting in front of the family television completely engrossed in what was happening on July 20th, 1969 nearly two hundred forty thousand miles away. A sense of pride welled up inside me as Neil Armstrong’s ghostly figure descended the ladder of the Lunar Module, as he prepared to take his first step onto the surface of the moon.
And I can recall his words as clearly today as when they were spoken all those years ago. It felt as though he was talking to me directly, encouraging me by his act to ‘push the edge of the envelope’ and achieve great things.
To me the astronauts were genuine heroes, risking their lives to propel the United States forward in our race against the Soviet Union for supremacy in outer space. It was important to America to be the first to land a man on the moon, as we were challenged to do by President John F. Kennedy back in 1962.
In 1983 the movie ‘The Right Stuff’ was released and depicted the early years of the U.S. space program and the men who stepped forward to become the heroes I came to admire and emulate. I can still watch the movie after seeing it a dozen times, and still feel a sense of pride in those men and what they achieved for our country.
With the release of the recent Hollywood production, ‘First Man’ we are seeing the revisionist history that has become endemic in our society nowadays. Taking an American achievement and lessening it, ‘spreading the wealth’ in a sense as Barack Obama once famously said. It’s as though having pride in being an American and in our great accomplishments is something to be ashamed of.
Well I’m sorry if it offends anyone, but putting a man on the moon and bringing him safely back home again was and will always remain a singular American achievement, period. WE DID IT! No matter how much Hollywood or the progressive liberals try to lessen America’s ownership of that event.
Though this new release about man’s first landing on the moon hasn’t hit the theaters yet, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be rushing out to spend a single nickel to do so. Since in the film the planting of the flag of the United States onto the moon’s surface has been omitted from the production. It seems they think the moon landing was something of a ‘community effort’ more than a truly American accomplishment. It reminds me also of what Barack Obama once said about ‘American exceptionalism’, that it was no different than any other country’s ‘exceptionalism’.
Sadly that is what our youth are being indoctrinated with in America’s schools nowadays. They’re being taught that Americans are inherently bad people. Racist slave owners who oppress people around the world, exploit their resources and their people, as we engage in wars of conquest in foreign lands. Lessons taught once again by proxy by Barack Obama.
Likely most school kids couldn’t even tell you about Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s fateful trip to the lunar surface some forty years ago. Much less that it was AMERICA that did it! Instead of feeling pride in our American achievement, they would probably only somehow feel shame since that’s how they’re supposed to feel about being an American in today’s world.
As for me I will continue to feel pride in being an American and in the countless achievements we have made over the years, both in outer space and closer to home, contrary to what unpatriotic people might think. And when I look up at the moon at night I’ll continue to well up with pride knowing that WE DID IT, and no one else! And our flag is still planted on the moon’s surface to this day.
And Hollywood nor anyone else can ever take that away from us.