Celebrating Armstrong, Edison, and The Wright Brothers
Maybe you didn’t see this photo that my good friend “soopermexican” posted today, so here it is, in all its Obama strewn glory, right from the Obama/Biden 2012 site. Why am I writing about this? Because I am angry.
You see, Neil Armstrong has been a hero of mine since a day in 1969 when I watched him walking on the moon on my parents’ tiny black and white TV by the dinner table. Back then, the networks, often had a cool poem, and the National Anthem on when they went off air at night. My favorite was “High Flight” a poem by an UK Royal Air Force pilot named Gillespie Magee, who was killed in WW II flying against the Germans. It sums up how Neil Armstrong and all our astronauts must have felt as they raced through the sky to “slip the surly bonds of earth”
In the old days, technology was a long way from where it is now. There was no such device as a remote, and my dad was in the Navy, so we had minimal nice stuff not the least of which was a little Zenith black and white television with about a 14 inch screen. So the thought of someone going to space was crazy enough, but the thought of a human being flying to, and walking on, the moon was more than my little brain could imagine. But on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did just that.
Commander Armstrong was the first guy out of the Lunar Lander or LEM. He of course said the most famous words in world history: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” It gives me chills just thinking about it and though I was quite young, I remember it as if it were yesterday. That was the day I became a true patriot. Before then, I had been out to the pier where my dad’s ship, the USS LaSalle was docked, to see him off for a cruise, or to welcome he and his shipmates home from one. My brother and I had the obligatory “sailor suits” my mom would put us in, and we’d go down and tearfully say goodbye, or anxiously wait for them to return, always waving American flags, and all the other stuff you see on television when ships come home. But on that day when Armstrong said those words, I realized that America was great for so many reasons.
Since then, we have two space craft (Voyager 1 and 2) screaming across the solar system, one in fact that has just left our solar system. We have launched and recovered the various space shuttles hundreds of times, losing two in the process and all of their crews. We have sent numerous craft to Mars, the most recent (Mars Curiosity) is currently beaming down crazy amounts of high definition photos and videos and is equipped with a science lab on-board that would rival anything at any top university. All of this is being controlled remotely from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA. We have put probes on asteroids for God’s sake. We are America. We have led the charge in every single possible technological path humanity has walked down. And from the space program, many developments have been born, and have been pushed out to the consumer, from freeze-dried food to touch-screen phones and about 10,000 additional technological advances.
Humanity has benefited greatly from such pioneers as our astronauts, our scientists, and doctors. Furthermore, our inventors have been responsible for other technology that has made humanity more productive, from computers (think Gates and Jobs), to Light bulbs (Edison) and of course the cumbersome predecessor to that smart phone you are reading this on, the telephone (Graham-Bell). Americans are bad-ass! We have done it all. We have also come to the rescue of many, including Europe (WW I and II), Japan (we rebuilt them after whooping them in WW II), South Korea, and too many others to mention. We have pioneered medical treatments and technologies that have saved countless millions of lives, and have even invented artificial limbs for dolphins (if you haven’t seen it, see “Dolphin Tale”….great picture-and a true story). Gosh, I could go on and on all night! After all, I am a patriot. And while I believe there are some great places around the world to visit, up until Obama took over, my country, America, was the best place on Earth to live.
I don’t want to get all negative, in fact, just the opposite. I want to celebrate the life of Neil Armstrong. In fact, I want to celebrate the lives of all NASA heroes, living and dead, for the amazingly brave and advanced work they have done for all humanity. I want to celebrate all of the American inventors, and scientists, and entrepreneurs who have made this country what it is today, or what it was on January 19, 2009 anyway. I want to celebrate what is to come for us, our children and grandchildren. I want to celebrate the fact that I can fly anywhere in America on a jet airplane, because Wilbur and Orville Wright did what no one else could do in their lifetimes…FLY! I and my family went on vacation a few weeks ago. We flew to Newark, and 5 hours from the time we left our house in Chicagoland, we were on the Atlantic Ocean, knee deep in salt water. We stood at the top of the Empire State building, a nearly 1,000 foot tall building that was built in 1931. And I mean ground broken, and built and open all during the same year…1931! Never before had a building 1/10 of that size been constructed in that time, yet Americans did it in one year, way back in 1931, hand driving all the rivets!
My point is, America is in fact the greatest place on earth with or without this Obama character, or whatever his name is. This country was founded on free-market capitalism for a reason: because that is what drives innovation. That is what drives imagination, and makes us able to imagine ourselves doing anything we set our minds to do. We are able to do that here. You can’t do that anywhere else on the entire planet-NOWHERE! Our system isn’t perfect. We have allowed politicians to tarnish it by enslaving our citizens to welfare. We have allowed politicians to make our tax code a crony-capitalist dream. And those things are dangerous to our survival. But, we can and will overcome over-reaching power hungry narcissists who use politics to get rich. We have to. The American way is to get rich through hard work, innovation, and personal responsibility. That is what made Neil Armstrong able to be the first human being to set foot on the moon, what made Edison able to create the light bulb, and what made Wilbur and Orville Wright able to take the knowledge they had from designing bicycles and make some changes to create winged flight for men! Geeze, there is nothing we can’t do. And darn it we should be celebrating it. We should start by celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, and all of his colleagues who wore the NASA logo. Let’s just not do it by worshiping a photograph of Barack Obama, okay?