Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“One Giant Leap for Mankind."

How amazing it is that 42 years ago, 240,000 miles from Earth Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. While history sometimes regards the Moon landing as a victory for the United States, it is important that we recognize this accomplishment as a triumph for humanity. Entertain this thought for a moment: what if instead of the American flag, Neil Armstrong dug an ‘Earth flag’ into the Moon’s surface? I know I know I can’t rewrite history, but here at the Foundation we believe that only when we overlook boundaries and identify ourselves as inhabitants of one Earth will we truly be able to wage peace on a global scale.

Fun Fact: It turns out that 73 world leaders did in fact share the victory of the Moon landing- at least in spirit. Today I came across an article on Space.com called “The Untold Story: How One Small Disc Carried One Giant Message for Mankind.” The article said that prior to the Moon landing the U.S. State Department authorized NASA to collect messages of peace and good will from 73 leaders of the world's nations. These microscopic messages were etched into a tiny silicone disc about the size of a half-dollar. Buzz Aldrin then carried the disk in his spacesuit's sleeve pocket before leaving it on the Moon. Here are a few of the messages:

“On this unique occasion when man traverses outer space to set foot on Earth’s nearest neighbor, Moon, I send my greetings and good wishes to the brave astronauts who have launched on this great venture. I fervently hope that this event will usher in an era of peaceful endeavor for all mankind." Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India

"This is a message from black militants. It is a message of human solidarity, a message of peace. In this first visit to the Moon, rather than a victory of technology we salute a victory of human will: research and progress, but also brotherhood." Léopold Sédar Senghor, president of Senegal

"On behalf of the British people I salute the skill and courage which have brought man to the moon. May this endeavor increase the knowledge and well-being of mankind." The Queen

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