45 Years After Apollo 11, and We Are Still Enthralled
In 1989, during NASA’s official 20th Anniversary celebrations of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon, the first human to walk on the moon said this:
We are amazed by, enthralled by, then bored by, and eventually forget some new things usually within one revolution of the Earth around the sun.
That’s the way humans are.
And so it’s a great surprise to me that so many people remember something that happened 20 years ago!
Twenty-five more years have passed, and most of the people that I know are still amazed and enthralled by the idea that for one short period of time – from 1969 to 1972 – humans visited the moon.
For people of my era, who lived through the space race, it is proof of just how much humanity can accomplish when it has the will to do so. For my children, it is a mythic past – similar to the times of Homer or of Arthur – when giants accomplished what mere mortals cannot. For my grandparents, whose lives spanned the flights of the Wright brothers and the flights of Apollo, it was pure and simple magic.
We are five years from the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. On that day, 45 years ago, humanity was united as a single species as it never had been before and never has been since.
In a world with wars or near wars in Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip, Nigeria, the Russia-Ukraine border, and so many other places, we need to recover that unity.
We need to remember that we are enthralled by what we have, and can, accomplish together.