Tag Archives: Armstrong

20 July 1969

Plaque on Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

Plaque on Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

I had just graduated from high school. Viet Nam dominated the news, especially for young men approaching their 18th birthday.

But in the midst of it all, we answered the challenge of President John F. Kennedy to make it to the moon and back within the decade of the 1960s.


The lunar module detached from the command module and descended to the moon’s surface. Neil Armstrong prepared to land on the moon using an approach chart just like pilots would use here on earth. However, since no one had been to the moon before, the detailed chart was based on photographs and estimates. As he got closer, he realized that the intended landing site was not safe. Unlike on earth, he could not merely go around and make a second attempt – there was not enough fuel. Well trained, disciplined and determined, he coaxed every bit of lift out of the spacecraft and brought the Eagle to a safe landing.

When I saw that even I, a soon to be befuddled college freshman, knew – I KNEW – anything was possible.

Forty-five years later, I still know it’s true.

Do you?


Lance Armstrong

The Lance Armstrong confession has resulted in some interesting reactions, “The New York Times” had perhaps the funniest:

“…Armstrong did indeed admit he used performance-enhancing drugs. (In other news: the world is round.)”

But among the more interesting responses have been those who are now questioning the wisdom of placing athletes or other celebrities in the role of “heroes” and therefore role models.

Do we really want our kids emulating someone whose claim to fame is his ability to ride a bike or chase a ball? Do we want our kids to think that it’s normal to be incredibly wealthy, have a throng of hangers-on, be treated “special” by the courts and then be finished with your career in your thirties?

Vince Lombardi is known for saying, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!” Actually, he “borrowed” that phrase from UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell (“Red”) Sanders. I guess that alone is enough to prove that some people will beg, borrow, steal, or inject in order to win.

I’d rather my kids see heroes as the people who go to work every day, not for fame and fortune but because it’s the right thing to do. Parents who attend the school concert, the sporting event and who help (to the degree they can) with the school projects. People who give God his due. People who repeatedly fall madly in love with their spouse.

Celebrities live in a different world – make that a different universe – from the rest of us. They have their place. We enjoy them because they make us laugh, they make us cry. They make us cheer. They make us wish they could have heard the advice we shouted to the television before they messed up that last play. (Auugghhhh! Fumble!)

Most of our kids will never live in the celebrities universe, and even if they do, sooner or later (probably sooner) they’ll re-enter the normal universe, and hopefully find themselves willing to go to work every day, be attentive to their kids, know God, and appreciate their spouse.