The Anniversary of a Dream
There may come a day when a father carries his child outside to look at the Moon.
Perhaps this child’s imagination will come aflame with wild fantasies of Martians and of adventurers lost amidst an alien world, searching for home.
Catching the spark in his child’s eyes this father may tell a story of three great heroes who, long ago rode a pillar of white fire to tread foot on heaven’s pearl.
Noticing the endless glimmers of starlight the child may ask, “but what about the other places up there?”
The father may well tell that they did or that they didn’t go to the other places. He may have tales of derring-do, stories of romance, bravery and sacrifice. He may tell of a different group, men and women, all different creeds and colors working together in love and camaraderie, tales of tragedy and sacrifice.
He may tell a tale of a world where those three heroes come home because the world took their pillar of fire and extinguished it. He may tell a tale of a world where, appeased by the glory of the three heroes, they became lethargic and turned their eyes to easier, more pleasant things.
He may tell a tale of a world that had forgotten the worth of the heavens.
Perhaps that child has been waiting 45 years to hear the end of the story.
45 years ago today those three great heroes rode that pillar of white flame. One day we will perhaps return to the sky when we ride again pillars of fire into heaven. May we then recall those three men and these words:
"There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
-President John F. Kennedy
As children we all grew up wanting to hear the end of the story. As children though we were never told that we are that story. It’s entirely up to us to light the fire again and ride to our dreams.