Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"...The Good Earth"

Long ago, when I was a lad. Three men went to the moon. They were the first to go, but because they didn't land no one remembers their names. Never mind that doesn't matter. What does matter though is what they did when they arrived.

These were the first human souls to reach, and orbit the moon. It was Christmas eve 1968. A most eventful year. Indeed a most dramatic year in world history as those who were there will vividly remember.

It was fitting that it closed with so dramatic, and moving an event as Apollo 8 reaching la Luna.

The Moon.

Through this voyage we for the first time saw our Earth, our home whole in the sea of forever. So small, so beautiful, so fragile.

The world watched, and listened that night. That Christmas eve, that Holy night of our combined Hopes.

As the Apollo caravel rounded the moon astronauts Anders, Lovell, and Borman read from the first page of Genesis.

William Anders:

"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Jim Lovell:

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Frank Borman:

"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."


fanofgrendel said...

I watched and listened to the event as it happened. It seemed impossible, but it was happening. I was transfixed. I felt humbled, but hopeful. Hope was needed after all that had happened in 1968. I was at my childhood home when I watched the TV that Christmas Eve. A home that no longer exists.

Uncle Sidney said...

Merry Christmas Fan,

I was there too.

To me this was far more moving that the actual landing. This trip was for the soul of the Earth.

Over 40 years ago, but yes I'm still moved by the memory of that night.

...Star in the East.

As for both of our homes. We mourn the loss. However we continue on.


Mike S said...

I remember as well.. I lived in NYC at the time, at 490 W 187th St. Just off Amsterdam Ave.

Sidney, I tried to email you, but Yahoo refused your address. I need to ask you something.

Uncle Sidney said...

Hi Mike,

Glad you're there. Happy Holidaze to you!

Yeah, Christmas 1968 historic indeed. I think these last 40 years have been biblical.

Dr. King went to the mountain top that year, and saw the "Promised Land"

...and it took us 40 years in the wilderness to get there.

I see our recent election as the beginning of the change we all have worked for through those dark decades.

Sorry I tend to give sermons if I get anywhere near a keyboard or mic.

Anyway my 'real' email is:

I keep meaning to put that into my blogs,...I'll get to it this year.

I promise.