Thursday, 16 December 2010

Epic men of flesh and blood

Another fascinating Letter of Note, this time with a comment from the website underneath it. The letter amazed me, but it was the comment that made me cry.
The human race is a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

I've spent 27+ years in the military, a substantial amount of time planning any operation, even simply transporting men to a range, is planned in as great an amount of detail as is possible AND contingency plans are made in the event that things go awry.

This is a typical example of such contingency plans. And this is one that touches a special place in my heart, as I remember the day of the first lunar landing very well. I remember the predictions by some that the lander wouldn't find level ground and would be unable to return our astronauts to Earth. I remember predictions that the ground would be only a fine powder miles deep and that the lander would sink, killing our astronauts. I remember predictions that the astronauts would sink in the powder and die trapped beneath the lunar soil.

And I remember my mother watching the landing with caution, ready to comfort me should any of the disaster predictions come to pass.

And I remember the tears of joy in her eyes when the lander finally landed safely and the pure exuberance of the first human footprint being made on the moon.

The fine human adventure had finally began taking its first baby steps away from our small, fragile planet and toward the stars.

It's always been a keen regret of mine that we've failed to return and that some consider such things a waste. Such thinking would have kept the Europeans from ever discovering the land that became the United States and would have slowed the development of our entire species.

It smacks of ingratitude to those who risked their lives in pursuit of exploration and discovery and denigrates the remarkably few sacrifices of those who fell in the line of duty to discover, to strive to excel and blaze a path untravelled before.

Those who traveled that great journey to the moon returned changed men, they saw our world for the small, fragile and special place it is for us, that we take for granted.

And they shared those thoughts with us tirelessly and wish that WE ALL could make that journey, so we could appreciate our special world more fully.

How could you fail to be moved by this?

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