Thursday, December 25, 2008

Forty Years Ago The Most Amazing Thing Happened

I remember it as clearly as I remember the day Kennedy was assassinated. It was the end of a very bad year. Nineteen-sixty-eight saw the Tet offensive in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, riots across the world and the My Lai massacre.

But on Christmas Eve, Americans turned on their TVs to see perhaps the first good news all year: Apollo 8 astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis as they became the first humans to orbit the moon. On the 9th orbit which occured on Christmas Eve evening you could see the crew in their orbiting capsule as they chose to follow the directions given to them by NASA preflight....."Do something appropriate...."

....and they did....

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light," read Lunar Module Pilot William Anders.
His crewmates, Commander Frank Borman and Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, followed with more verses. I remember tearing up as we heard those words and saw the earth from a whole new perspective. One tiny jewel in orbit in a vast expanse of the universe.....on the Eve of the celebration of Christ's birth on this place called earth.

Borman concluded the broadcast with these words. "Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas — and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth." That is my greeting to those of you who have checked in on this blog throughout the year.

Merry Christmas from the blogging Weavers!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that too and heard it again this a.m. on NPR. Imagine something like that reading being done today - how far we have come (not!) It was a magical moment.....

Merry Christmas to all the Weavers and Good Night!