Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Before This Decade Is Out Day!

As you know, 2011 is a big year for space anniversaries. We celebrated Yuri Gagarin's first flight on April 12 and then a few weeks later Alan Shepard's first flight on May 5. Imagine being Kennedy in the few weeks between May 5 and 25 (keeping in mind he had only been inaugurated in January). He spent those weeks conferring with scientists, the Pentagon, and let's face it probably the CIA. Then on the 25th JFK came out with his daring charge to the nation. Seriously, watch it, it's only a few minutes.

My favorite part of this speech, of course, is the part where he says we're going to the moon. But I am also totally amazed by his humility toward the end where he goes off the page. He admits that "I came to this conclusion with some reluctance," and then closes with this:

You must decide yourselves, as I have decided. And I am confident that whether you finally decide in the way I have decided or not, that your judgment, as my judgment, was reached in the best interest of our country.

That guy was a class act.

Now just for fun, put on your best Hyannis Port accent and sing along: "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!"

(Still not quite sure what "the other things" are.)

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