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A lot is being written now about the first manned moon landing. I have nothing substantive to add, just personal recollection.

I was born in 1956. About the time I became aware of the wider world, it seemed to be falling apart. One of my first memories of fear is watching television during the Cuban missle crisis. I was old enough to understand explosions and destruction, but I think what frightened me was that the adults were nervous, both on television and off. I grew up seeing the daily casuality count from Vietnam onscreen during the nightly news, along with footage of war; by 1968 I turned 12 and assumed that my future would include jungle warfare. 1968 was a bad, bad year: assasinations, riots, a feeling that the world was disintigrating. And over all hung the spectre of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

But, alongside the gloom and doom, was another story that I followed almost like an addict: the good news of the space program. I have an early memory of my dad taking me out of the house into the darkness to watch a satellite fly overhead. Mercury, Gemini, unmanned missions to the moon. Apollo. It helped that I loved science, and science fiction, but I think that the space program would have attracted me even if I had not. I think I was hungry for heroism, for ambitious and positive goals, for the romance of exploration, for a token that humanity might just beat its problems and survive.

When Neil Armstrong spoke those memorable words, I was elated. The moon landing gave me hope for a future beyond our nation's problems in 1969.
The man has class.

George H.W. Bush Lands on the U.S.S. Bush. Story. From Theo.