Write Again … A shared Earthrise

Published 7:23 pm Friday, February 23, 2018


The rancor, the enmity, the divisiveness — often downright hatred — that exists in the political realm of this land we love is very troubling. Depressing. The dark angels in our psyche must be very happy.

We seem to be in the classic “us versus them” mentality. Having some leaders use this to seek political gain is sad.

Whatever happened to the “Let us agree to disagree agreeably” way of approaching different points of view? If it ever existed.

Well, now. On Christmas Eve 1968, for the first time in history, three men orbited the moon. Most of us have clear memories of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the surface of the moon seven months later in ’69. Even now, I can get a bit emotional when I recall that event.

From the Wright brothers in 1903, and the first 12-second flight, to man landing on the moon only 66 years later, is beyond comprehension. In God’s time, no more than a blink of an eye. And to think that Neil and Orville and Wilbur were all native Ohioans. Make of that what you will, folks.

On that Christmas Eve ’68 event, astronaut Frank Borman said “Earthrise” when he looked back to our shared home.

Poet Archibald MacLeish wrote in the New York Times: “To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now they are truly brothers.”

“Time” magazine put the photograph on its next cover and called it “Dawn.”

Yet here we are, almost half a century later, not really having come close to a sense of universal brotherhood.

Nor have we achieved it here in our own land. Probably even less so than in ’68, in some ways.

We can do better.

APROPOS — “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

— John F. Kennedy

(Address at the American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963)