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Posted on 2007.07.20 at 12:48
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Rocket Man - Elton John
I approached a group of co-workers this morning and posed this question: “What happened 38 years ago today?” One of them, by the way, is nearly my age. They stared at one another as if I’d asked them what the Aramaic word for prophylactic was. Of course you, my brilliant readers, are well aware of the answer, but just in case you wanted to see it in black & white, here it is: We landed on the moon for the first time.

I was an unshaven lad of ten when it happened, but the historic momentousness of the moment was not lost on me. I wandered about the house in a daze at one point, periodically circling back to the television, which kept showing a studio tabletop model of the Lunar Excursion Module resting on the lunar surface. It was a day like no other.

A year or two later, one of the devoted nuns that taught us at St. Ignatius Elementary informed us during science class that the moon landing had been a hoax perpetrated by the government “because God never intended us to leave this planet.”

I suppose that when one is born into a world in which the moon landing is part of history class, rather than current events, one cannot possibly be as impressed by the achievement. Still, I think it is worth noting as one of the greatest technological achievements in human history.

There have been many versions of this saying: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t [YOUR COMPLAINT HERE]. Here’s my own version: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t remember when it happened!”

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