July 20, 2014
“That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”
Exactly one year before your father and I were born, Commander Neil Armstrong spoke this unforgettable phrase. Our generation knows these words intimately along with the significance of man’s first steps on the moon. But the day before Armstrong put his foot on the moon and spoke these words to the world, Colonel Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the Lunar Module Pilot, made an even more noteworthy statement in the privacy of their spacecraft.
On the morning of the Lunar landing 45 years ago today, Buzz transmitted the following message to NASA headquarters in Houston, Texas. “This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever or wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.” After which the radio went silent. During this time, Buzz took a tiny travel communion set his church gave him, celebrated the Holy Sacrament and recited John 15:5 which reads, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Buzz later commented that, “It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.” More specifically, the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (You can watch a re-enactment HERE)
It is so humbling to imagine that America and mankind traveled from their very first flight on December 17, 1903 to the moon just 66 years later on July 20, 1969. Technology is such an amazing gift from God, blessing humanity and our country. America is not an accident. America is not just another country. America is a dream and it is hope for a better tomorrow.
Many progressives today are trying to shame white Americans into believing they are thieving, deceitful, greedy people. One of their most despised phrases is “American Exceptionalism.” They accuse Americans of claiming to be better than other countries. But Liberty, that is not what American Exceptionalism means at all. It’s the aspiration to find a way to soar with the eagles and not stop till we shine with the stars. It’s the passion to say, “Let me show you what I can do, just give me the freedom to do it.” It’s knowing our parents and our grandparents had a hard life, allowing us the liberty to choose our own occupation, determine our own path, so that we could work even harder and make a better life for ourselves and our children.
We are not better than citizens of other countries, but we were founded on a principle unique from every other county. “Give me your tired, your poor, and your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We do not cry for the lords and nobility, for the wealthy and affluent, or the privileged few, no more than we solicit those who what to live off the backs of others. Instead we summon individuals who hunger to be released from the shackles of their respective monarchies and dictators and long to govern themselves. Give us those who yearn “to breathe free,” not yearn to get life for free. That is why America is exceptional. It is our eagerness and enthusiasm to make the world better and our inalienable, self-evident right to be free. It’s what we think, what we believe, what we know we can do for ourselves and others if we are just given the chance.
MAN ON THE MOON
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” This was President Kennedy’s philosophy which led him to propose to Congress the goal of America “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" within 8 years. A goal which was pursued and achieved by hardworking, innovative and extraordinary individuals. America’s desire has never been to conquer and dominate the world but to bring the world along with her on her journey. This is what sets her apart and makes her exceptional.
But above all that, Liberty, has been the United State’s acknowledgement of our blessings from our Father in Heaven since our inception. The humility of knowing our only King, our only ruler, is our Creator. As Buzz recognized, it is under the loving, supporting hand of our God that we are blessed with such prosperity, such achievements, and such good fortunes.
We are at a very fragile time when many wish to erase God from not only our present and our future, but they are actively expunging Him from our past. If we continue down this path and refuse to turn back to God, our tower of Babel will crumble so fast and so far that we will long for the days of the 19th century because of their outstanding luxuries.
Thank you Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins for being such fearless pioneers and an amazing example of the heart and soul of America. A special thank you to Buzz for taking pause during this incredible moment in history to recognize and give thanks to the one who made it possible. May we return to those days of seeking to improve America instead of apologizing for her. If we do, we will truly be blessed and can thank God every step of the way.
That’s my 2 cents.