Monday, July 20, 2009

Forty Years Ago Today

We were young, and we were fearless and, after all, nobody had ever told us young engineers that we couldn’t successfully land humans on another planet. So we did it.-----Sy Liebergot, electrical, environmental, and communications mission control officer, Apollo 11 mission.

There was a time when the United States could accomplish the impossible. There was a time when heroism and accomplishment were celebrated and honored in this country. It dreamed big, and a lot of those big dreams became reality.

What the hell happened to the United States??

Where did it all go wrong??

Forty years after arguably the most magnificent achievement in human history, our most remarkable accomplishment today is the debt we're running up with the Chinese. We are now much better at denying we have problems, or avoiding facing reality squarely, than we are at solving problems.

What the hell happened??

I feel lucky that I was alive when the United States was at the height of its power and glory. And I feel lucky I will be dead by the time China passes the United States as the world's dominant economic, political, military, and scientific power.

And the next visitors to the moon will be Chinese.