Friday, July 24, 2009

More Apollo 11 Memories

In honor of the Apollo 11 landing forty years ago, Northrop Grumman decided to make a video of employee's memories of that event. I volunteered to be interviewed because it was a chance to reach out and tell others about how indelible that event was to me and how important it is to continue that bold expansion into space today. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Apollo program was probably the greatest engineering achievement of the last century, not only because it succeeded in landing men on the Moon, but because it brought the people of Earth together as one, albeit briefly. Michael Collins, the third Apollo 11 crew member, remarked in the documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon," that people around the world came up to them during their post-flight tour of other countries and said, "We did it!" Not "you did it," "You Americans did it," but "WE" did it - we the human species did it. That to me was worth every penny of the Apollo program and worth every effort to duplicate it. Can we catch lightning in a bottle again with another push to the Moon and on to Mars? Reality is seldom so accommodating, but I can hope so. And I do.

As with the Lunar Lander image a couple of days ago, these two shots of the powerful Saturn V launch vehicle and Apollo Command Module were taken at the Kennedy Space Center during our 2002 trip to Florida. It is very, very impressive. I wish we still had some usable ones today.

Since haiku is like Lays Potato Chips (you can't just write one), I've added some more of my haiku tributes to the Apollo 11 anniversary. I'm afraid the last one is a bit melancholy, but some days my cynicism and frustrations win out. I'm sure somebody will prove me wrong; I just hope it's this country.


A Golden Lander
and a Flag Red, White and Blue
Give the Moon Color.


Forty Years Ago -
One Small Step, One Giant Leap -
Our Footprints Remain.


Silent Sentinels,
Our Footprints Wander the Moon,
Relics in the Dust.


How Soon We Forget.
Reality Turns to Myth
When Memories Fade.

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