Sunday, December 21, 2008

Apollo 8 to the Moon!!

Forty years ago today, the first men to leave the Earth's vicinity were launched aboard a Saturn V rocket.

Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders began this historic journey when we needed it most. Were it not for Apollo 8, I have no doubt that 1968 would have gone down in history as one of the worst years for Americans in modern times. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy tore the country apart. There were riots in the streets, and I remember seeing the pillars of smoke rising above Washington DC as many neighborhoods burned. Protests about the Vietnam War and at the Democratic National Convention highlighted how angry Americans were.

Apollo 8 focused our attention on the best that Americans - and mankind - could do. The world took a 6-day time-out and watched three brave men journey a quarter-million miles away from their planet. They saw, as no one had ever seen, how small and fragile our Earth is. And they shared that image with us through their onboard TV camera.

The Christmas season of 1968 will never be forgotten by those who were alive then.

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