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realclearworld

We Came in Peace for All Mankind

Eclipse

To add on to George's post, I too was an obsessed boy with the Space Program. I was only four when Man landed on the Moon. I saw it with my parents on an old B&W television. But unlike them, I did not appreciate what was happening. I thought this happened every day. But I think back to those days of my youth. Interesting that all of us young boys then wanted to be astronauts when we grew up. Because the astronauts drank Tang and ate those stick foods, so did I. Tang tasted like crap. I had to add sugar to it is what I remember. I watched all the television broadcasts of Apollo. I remember the Apollo 13 disaster and have vivid pictures of David Brinkley giving the latest updates with that mission. I remember the night launch of Apollo 17 watching the bright rocket outside my house with my dad. I wish I could have appreciated it more when I saw it live back then. Of course now as an adult, I've read every book there is. Especially Chaiken's Man on the Moon, fantastic book. I've read Gene Cernan's Last Man on the Moon, the Autobiography of Deke Slayton and Gene Kranz; I read Lost Moon by Jim Lovell, the Authorized Bio of Neil Armstrong, and others.

The men of the space program were something else. Imagine having flown all those hours in space and having walked on the Moon by the time you were forty years old. These Men were all brilliant; aerospace engineers, physicists, besides being great pilots.

I hope I'm still alive to see the day we can once again walk on the Moon or maybe on Mars. Interestingly enough, I still have the newspapers from that day in July 1969. My parents saved it. On the back page of the newspaper, ironically, is a little article which kind of got lost in all of the excitement, about an fatal automobile accident involving the Senator from Massachusetts and a secretary. But that's another story.

2 comments to We Came in Peace for All Mankind

  • Orgullosa de ser Cubana

    I also have that newspaper saved and yes, I always thought it was ironic that "Teddy" was on page 2. I wonder if they had not had the lunar landing that day, if it would have made page 1.

  • Henry Agueros

    George, If it were possible to go back in time....my childhood dream...to be the pilot of a P-51 Mustang....Or a gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress.
    There is still one Fortress at a Long Beach area airport and when ever I have the opportunity to see it flying low over the area I just pull over to the side of the road to take its grace and beauty. I have always felt that the Japanese Betty Bomber was a beauty.
    When man first landed on the Moon I was a Political prisoner in Lecumberri and wow do I remember the hate and envy of the guards and the military personel. "Its lies.....its hollywood...its not true..
    Good to know that we also share a love of WW II aircrafts