Guess what happened on this day in 1969?

Anyone?

Only the most significant human achievement ever.  Yeah, for the first time we stepped onto another planet.  Just to prove we could.  We may just be the only organisms in this universe who have stepped onto a planet we weren’t born on.  And we did it with equipment so primitive by today’s standards, they would make your pocket calculator look like Watson.  And we made it back in one piece.  In fact, we went to the Moon six times, and never lost a man doing it.  No single technological endeavor has come close to matching this, even forty-seven years later.

So… why don’t we care?

Why aren’t we holding up this standard and rallying around it?  Why aren’t we cheering leaders who say, “If we could do that back then… imagine the miracles we could do today”?

Why aren’t we standing together, warm in the knowledge that when we work together, we can accomplish the impossible… and even things that are very, very hard?

Why aren’t we lionizing NASA, the original competence porn organization, for their ability to bring men and women from every walk of life together into a cohesive team… a team that showed no sign of segregating itself into groups when it came time to celebrate their accomplishments (or deal with their failures)?

Why aren’t we leading the charge of making July 20 an international holiday for all of Mankind?

Why, instead, are we tolerating the conversion of the party of Lincoln and FDR into a bunch of racist, misogynistic rednecks, the relentless attacks of brother on brother, the dumbing down of the American educational system, the mindless bread and circuses distracting us from the work that needs to be done to preserve our planet and shore up the infrastructure we, ourselves, built, now crumbling before our eyes?

Because the United States of America cares nothing about the achievements (and mistakes) of the past, and has given up on the future.  It refuses to invest in our posterity or put money away for rainy days.  Its greatest accomplishments mean nothing to the people on the street, the struggling family, the fat businessperson or the corrupt politician.

America has lost sight of the fact that it was once a country that other countries looked up to for good reason.  It’s lost its pride of accomplishment and vision to the future.  It…

Oh, what the hell.  Go back to watching American Idol.

And by the way: July 20 isn’t just noted for a Moon landing.

Viking 1

Yeah, it’s only the first unmanned landing on Mars.  What the heck.