In the just darkened sky,
still aquamarine in the west,
the Moon high risen, sent shattered silver
across the lake.
Gentle waves lapped stony shore
Father rowed and drifted,
trolling our flies behind to beckon
the illusive bass.
It was the summer of '44
I was 16.
We talked quietly in that half voice
appropriate on a lake at night
where sound travels amplified
Our thoughts deep,
Father spoke in awe and wonder
of the universe spread like a fount above us.
Looking at that brilliant Moon he said,
"Men will walk there one day. I won't see it,"
he smiled at me then added,
"but you will."
It seemed wonderfully improbable.
Poignant prophecy, I think,
sitting in front of the TV in the summer of '69.
Eleven years he's dead, dear man
how thrilled he'd be to share the cheering
as the eagle lands.
Electrifying: they emerge,
bounding in great clumsy suits,
set up the flag
say those memorable words.
My daughter, just 16
looks to me and says, "What's next?"
I say, "We will find intelligent life in space
and it will be us."
-Ada Roelke, Psychologist
It is one of the most vivid memories I have. There are moments that freeze around you and never leave. You can remember not only where you were, but how you felt, what the weather was like, the cast of the sky--the whole setting is as real as the present moment. I remember Apollo for just that reason, and in just that way. It was early in the evening, the sun not quite set. I remember later going outside to look for the Moon with men on it.
I was in a little town outside of East Lansing, Michigan. Williamston. There was a general meeting of people who had just become involved in a revitalization movement in the Catholic Church. It was a movement that sought to find the real action of God in our lives in the present. We had been together all day, and I still had reservations about the whole thing--it sometimes seemed a bit too "hysterical" to me. These monthly meetings ended with a prayer session, and believe me, these people got very serious and involved when it came to praying!
But this night everything stopped. Just stopped while a TV was brought into the room and the actual landing was broadcast. People whom I knew cared not one bit about the "secular" world stood in awe as that amazing moment played itself out. And I remember thinking that seeing such a wonder was all the evidence I'd ever need to know that God still lived and worked among us. The Moon! Ours to examine? My sense of wonder and mystery that evening was one of the truest prayers I've ever prayed. There is a quotation from the Book of Job that I've always loved. God questions Job and asks, "Where were you when I made the heavens and set the stars in their courses?" That night, in July of 1969 it seemed to me that God answered His own question. It didn't matter where we were when it began, what was miraculous and divine was that He let us be there on the Moon--right on it!--in our own brief history of existence.
There's another quotation, from Thornton Wilder's play, "Our Town" where the address of the people in Grover's Corners keeps being expanded from country to continent to planet to solar system. The final, and largest, designation given is "in the Mind of God." That's where I was in June of '69. Along with Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo; along with all those NASA scientists who had worked so hard; even along with the silly people who thought the whole thing was faked on a Hollywood back lot--I was standing shoulder to shoulder with all of them. We were all, undeniably, in the Mind of God.
I was 11 years old on June 6, 1968 when the bullet fired from the gun of a terrorist took the life of Robert F. Kennedy, brother of our late president. With the death of Senator Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., who died at the hands of evil men as well, the youth of America were handed a devastating blow. The society that we were trying so hard to learn about in school was seemingly self-destructing. The Vietnam War was heating up, the "Cold War" tensions with the Soviet Union were at their highest, and the fear of nuclear war was prevalent. Just a year before, there was major racial rioting in Detroit, where I was raised. In a nutshell, the world was starting to look like a very grim place to an 11 year old boy.
The one great positive to come out of some of these negatives was the space program, the "space race" with the Soviet Union, and America's resolve to bring to reality the promise of the late President John F. Kennedy, who said that by the end of the decade, we would send a man to the Moon and return him safely back to Earth. We all closely followed the Apollo program from the start.
July 20, 1969: Just as if we were in the Eagle itself, my entire school was locked onto the television, following each and every detail described by the newsmen. Our hopes and fears were all evident as we sat wide eyed at the images of the Moon as it zoomed closer and closer. As the puff of lunar dust clouded the camera, we thought that our hearts would jump out of our chests. Then came the first step. As Neil Armstrong stepped down onto the lunar surface and recited his now famous line: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind, " we were in a state of complete and utter amazement. To us, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin were like all of our favorite baseball players all wrapped up into one package. They were the ultimate heroes. The accomplishments these men, mission control, and all aerospace manufacturers who made this possible, brought out the pride in all of us. Apollo 11 was so right when many other things in the world were so wrong. It gave us much needed hope for the future.
We, the world as a whole, must keep in mind the things that we're capable of doing, both positive and negative. We must strive to be the best we can be as a society without giving up, and to explore our own world, as well as the skies, as much as possible. Space exploration is still the one thing that all nations seem to be willing to work on together. Through this type of cooperation, we all breath a little easier, trusting that our scientific bonds will not allow us to use our incredible technology in a negative way. My twin girls, Amanda and Michelle (age 9) and my son Alexander (age 6) should grow up without having to experience the same fears that we experienced as children, and should possess the same hopes for the future that Apollo 11 gave us 27 years ago.
-Thomas J. Palmer
I don't know why they call us actors. So often what we do is re-enact. The real actors, giants of courage and innovation, perform their feats, usually with little notice from the world turning around them, and years, centuries later one of us in a representative costume--a nice Tom Hanks kind of fellow--will get the part and do our best to honor the guts, initiative, luck or tragedy that creates the now famous outcome.
I played the role of an archetypal citizen leader in America's first outdoor drama-- THE LOST COLONY. His story, like the Apollo astronauts , was about leaving the known world and landing in a new one. More like Apollo 13, he and his people suffered a crisis and disappeared after a couple of years attempting to colonize what is now the North Carolina coastline. The play is historical pageantry, tracing the origins of the colonists in England and guessing at their fate. Only the earthworks of their fort a few feet from the theater remain to tell us where they lived and died.
Across the sound from the Waterside Theater is the Monolith to Flight--the monument to the Wright Brothers on Kitty Hawk. It is floodlit so that even in the night, the footsteps of the human adventure can be seen, one from the other. Perhaps only we actors can see this perspective, for the scenery blocks the view of the Wright Memorial from the audience. But sitting on the dock behind the stockade the mind's camera pulls focus as the actor considers what other roles there are to play. From the ruins of the struggling first English colony, across a gulf of centuries to the monument of another first adventure, to share the air with the birds. And that night in July of 1969, the camera pans across yet another gulf of decades, and thousands of empty miles, to another landing place for the feet of real heroes, a sequel to the same adventure Orville and Wilbur began. On and around the very Moon hanging over our nightly performances, above the illuminated monument, another drama with real actors was unfolding. Our televisions and radios kept us all a part of the action, as they do with all the drama of those times. We knew the details as the media knew them.
But far below the high-tech landing on yet another new world, on a dock on an island, an actor stood awed with his perspective--standing on history and gazing across the gulfs at the footfalls of giants.
Maybe some day some re-enactors will perform a symphonic drama near Tranquillity Base and gaze to a distant planet where new giants roam.
The adults in our house came and went almost unnoticed. We were TV-raised children, more than anything else, our culture was based on Spaghetti-Os and Tang, with most of our formative knowledge being provided by Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" and Schoolhouse Rock.
But everything began, by lurching into awareness on that hot summer day in 1969. Walter Cronkite had us glued to our maternal television set, and the images began to flood into the thousands of synapses that I had formerly reserved for G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels.
Here I was, 8 years old, and the world winked on in front of me. The world of computers was just over the horizon, the entire culture based on Dad going to work, and Mom baking cookies was about to poof right before our eyes. The world as we knew it would completely vanish in the next few years and we couldn't even see it coming. We were sure, though, that this would be the first day of the change. But first, "we" had to land on the Moon.
Our fraternal enemies were racing us to land and recover some brave soul from the cool white orb, and each passing night, my sister and I would go and stare upwards, trying to catch sight of our team, rocketing toward glory.
Mom and my current Dad were making busy around the house, while Shelley and I watched the grainy picture linked to us from thousands of miles in space. The landing made me so dizzy, (I had held my breath from 250 feet right down to touchdown), that I was hyperventilating by the time Mr. Aldrin's voice brought me back. I was standing and pointing straight up, blocking the TV bad enough to get yells out of the other 3 people who's lives were also changing at that moment. Everyone realized that it represented the dawn of the next age.
My infant son stands rigid in front of the television, pointing straight up, as the Space Shuttle Atlantis roars into the heavens. The change in me, that led to 12 years as a Navy helicopter crewman (remember the divers that leap into the seas to recover astronauts?) has undoubtedly led to the birth of the next Generation of participants in the great Race to the Stars.
-Gordon y Alejandro de San Diego
In March of '69 my daughter Debbie was born. So, of course, that meant that I was a busy mother caring for a new home, a husband( in '69 they still wanted to be treated like Ward Cleaver) and my sweet baby. But I can still remember my fascination with what was taking place on the Moon. Chills ran up my spine when Neil Armstrong took that first step and spoke those immortal words. I felt proud and at the same time a little scared as I thought about what had taken place and what it could mean for my daughter's generation and the generations to come. Were we treading where we should not be? Was life going to change for the better as a result of this fabulous accomplishment? What did the future hold for the people of Earth.
There's always a trade-off if progress is going to take place. And yes, the age of technology has made Big Brother more reality than fiction. But if we would list the pluses and minuses of the space program, the former would greatly out-number the latter. My concerns on July 20, 1969 have been replaced by an envy that I will not be around on July 20, 2069 for the 100th anniversary. I would imagine that celebration will take place far away from my home town of Ellisville, MO and in an area much closer to the site of that American flag at Tranquillity Base established by 3 brave Americans.
-Mary Schnoring ,Teacher
On July 20, 1969, we were celebrating my wife's birthday as she was born on 7/20/37. We went to dinner and returned to a friends house to watch, live on TV the capture of space by setting foot on the Moon. It was unbelievable to see and caused me to think what accomplishments man would make in the lifetime of my children and grandchildren. It was the beginning of a new era for humans as far as I was concerned and made me proud to be one of them. It also gave me hope that if we could accomplish this, we could accomplish anything we set our minds to. Our President had made the commitment that "we will put an American on the Moon before the end of this decade", I heard him say that. Then to have it happen was to give courage and vision to people of my generation. I will never forget that moment, as I will never forget the moment that same President died.
-David W. Hunt
As were most seven year olds at the time, I was excited about seeing a man walk on the Moon. What made it even more exciting was all the talk among my three brothers and three sisters. So, naturally, everyone was huddled around the television set to watch history in the making.
The funny thing about the memories relate as much to the family being together--some on the sofa, most of us on the floor trying to get as close as possible. The runs to the bathroom were risky, especially if you were right in front of the TV. Amazing how quickly we all moved to get a better position, at the expense of a sibling who had a little bit too much to drink.
What amazes me today is how far technology has come. While it is truly a moment of pride, the night man walked on the Moon is also a point of reference for me. Since July 1969, think about how far we've come. Color TVs, VCRs, Touch-Tone telephones, PCs, cellular phones, voice mail, fax, e-mail, the Internet, AOL, microwave ovens, Cable TV (and of course satellite TV), minivans, airbags in cars, Domino's Pizza, cassette tapes, CDs, even calculators are things that weren't around back then. The things we now take for granted only arrived in our lives in the last 27 years.
What is the next 5 or 10 or 27 years going to bring to us? I only hope and pray that it brings us things to improve the living conditions for all mankind. Lets pray for the cure for AIDS, for cancer, and for the elimination of bias, racism, divisiveness and hatred.
That's what I think about when I remember the man on the Moon.
On July 20, 1969 I was a nine year old boy living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Vince Lombardi was gone, the Cubs were leading the NL East, and life was pretty good.
On this particular Sunday our family was attending the Resurrection Parish Picnic. I remember there were numerous radios providing play-by-play accounts of the Moon landing. There were many things for a young boy and his 4 siblings to do, but I knew something special was going to happen.
Later that night we were part of a scene that was repeated throughout the country; families sitting, transfixed, in front of our television (in this case a Zenith). The lights were out and the TV cast an eerie glow over our family room. I don't know if my youngest brother, age 6, made it through the entire broadcast but I do know we were all there watching and hanging on Walter Cronkite's every word.
The excitement of the whole space program overwhelmed me for a time. I wrote to NASA and received pictures and literature on the program, all which have since been lost. As a 36 year old the excitement of that time seems even greater and with the added knowledge of the danger the magnitude of the accomplishment is stunning.
The small lap top from which this is written is more powerful than the computers of that day, yet I can barely work spread sheets much less put a man on the Moon.
The men and women of the Space Program are heroes who's exploits should be built on, not relegated to some museum. When will this country realize that we did something great but we made a tremendous blunder when we stopped the exploration of Space?
- Mike Hogan
I was 17. I'd just finished high school, and was living with my very conservative parents in Brooklyn, New York. I stayed up all that night, watching the Moon landing on our brand new, 14-inch color TV.
I felt like I was watching the first fish that crawled out of the ocean and learned to live on dry land. It was that important a moment in our evolution. I remember, as the sun rose, shutting off the TV and saying, "Wow, the world can never be the same." Three weeks later, I went to Woodstock. How could the world ever be the same? My parents just could not get it.
Not too many years later, I came across the writings of Valentin Tsiolkovsky. He is sometimes referred to as the "Russian Jules Verne" and the "Father of the Soviet Space Program." He wrote: "Earth is the cradle of Man. But Man can not live in the cradle forever."
Thirty years later, I am a children's social worker in South Central Los Angeles. The young Black and Latino kids I work with every day are breaking stereotypes, crawling out of centuries old oceans of ignorance. They are helping us all move into a new world, as different from the "old world" as dry land was to those first pioneering fish who crawled out of the ocean. Evolution is happening in our lifetimes. We are all so lucky to be alive right now.
I fully expect to die, 500 or so years from now, someplace other than Earth. And when that day comes, I will look back to that muggy night in Brooklyn, on 7/20/69, and thank God that I was here for it all.
-Peter Brosnan, Social Worker
I was four years old, sleeping peacefully. We lived in rural Hallstead, Pennsylvania, near the highway. Passing headlights would paint the ceiling of my room, and I thought they were ghosts. My parents woke me and carried me to the living room. There were blurry images on the screen that I didn't really understand, but I remember Mom and Dad carefully explaining that these were men walking on the Moon, for the very first time. Dad carried me outside and pointed to the full Moon, telling me that what we saw on the TV was happening way up there. The only feeling I recall is one of profound disappointment--"We've only made it this far?" I'd sat in Dad's lap every week to watch Star Trek-- he tickled me whenever the Enterprise whooshed by. It was nearly unfathomable that we had only just landed on the Moon.
Mostly I was a tired and cranky child, but that night started a lot of thoughts in my wee head: There is a distinction between fiction and reality; the human endeavor is much more tentative that I'd thought possible; we might never really leave Earth. That night began a long series of revelations about humans and our place in the universe, about our responsibilities to future generations, and about our relationship to the planet itself.
-Jim Galasyn, Software Engineer
Before July 20, 1969, I thought I was as far away from home as anyone could possibly be. The hot jungles of Southeast Asia seemed a world away from my home in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Until then, my mind had not been on the Moon, but on loved ones that I missed and the many jets taking off to deliver their futile bombs in a war that would be lost.
Nightly, I viewed first hand the photographic evidence of the destructive power delivered over Vietnam and Cambodia that day by our Air Force. Working nights, I had my days were free to tour the countryside and visit the ancient temples of Thailand, see firsthand the peaceful resourcefulness of a leper colony in the jungle, and teach English to natives eager to expand their worldliness.
Or, I could watch television. And that's what I did on that day when the images of the first men on the Moon were transmitted around the world. On that day, while Americans saw the images at night, around the other side of Earth the sun was shining, contrasting the event within a surreal frame of an ancient culture. American military personnel and local natives alike crowded around the barracks television.
No one spoke a word. It was as silent and reverent a moment as you would find in any Church, Synagogue or Buddhist Temple. It was a sense that in that moment, this world and the perception of the outer reaches of our atmosphere would never again be the same. When Neil Armstrong stepped off those steps and spoke those words, they made an indelible mark in my memory. It froze that moment in time for me and today symbolizes how much alike are we who share this planet.
The people of Southeast Asia, despite its vastly different culture, (from what I had experienced in Pennsylvania), taught me how much alike we all are. Many have the same dreams, fears, emotions and reactions to events that we do as Americans. As the local natives stood there motionless, eyes fixed on the black and white images in the same awe as we all had, I couldn't help thinking that this fragile planet needs people like the heroes of Apollo 11 to remind us how fortunate we are to have such a beautiful world. There could not have been a better lesson scripted for me than to be torn away from my family, placed on the other side of the world, and then presented with the images of an event man has dreamed about for thousands of years!
I could not tell you what I was doing the day before or the day after that moment in 1969, but the moment of the walk on the Moon will never be forgotten.
I was told I would remember exactly what I was doing and where I was at the time and my grandfather was right. I was a 17 year old city boy who had left home to work on a cattle ranch in Montana until I could enlist in the service. The times seemed to hold a promise of unlimited horizons. The economy was going strong, mankind was about to set foot on another planet, and who knew, maybe I would be able to volunteer for the colony that had to be on Mars by the time I was an adult.
The day man stepped into that future, a bright and clear morning with no limits, I was on a pleasure horse ride on a mountain that hadn't felt a persons footsteps in 50 years. I looked around at nature and beauty, smelled the smells of health and growth, saw deer, elk, and the occasional moose startled by the first people they had ever seen, and I felt a little connected with a group of men exploring another kind of wilderness. That is what I remember, that and the pride and absolute faith that mankind could do anything it set its mind to.
-Dennis Wing, Mold Maker
I remember that on July 20th, 1969, I was fishing on the Belmont Pier, in Long Beach, CA. I was going to turn 12 years old that summer, and we were accustomed to spending our time around Long Beach, since my father liked the area so much.
What a great nation are we, that could somehow supply a war effort, maintain a 24 hour Strategic Air Command presence, persevere through the many public protests about the war, lose popular leaders to assassinations, stand toe to toe on a nuclear level with the Soviet Union and China, and still engineer and accomplish a Moon landing!
I caught a fish that day, returned to La Verne, CA, and saw the landing with my family on TV Our creator has given us such an amazing place to live and play!
-Daniel Alan Levy
I was a senior in high school, attending a marching band summer camp at a place called Camp Crescendo, just outside of Lebanon Junction, Ky. The days had been hot, humid, and uncomfortable, along with all the usual horror stories of camp food and conditions. As I recall, there were only two televisions in the whole camp, one for the adults and one on the camp commons for the campers. The focus of the camp was total immersion in the marching business, without distraction like TV.
On the night of the first Moon landing, a group of several hundred students were gathered in the commons, eating ice cream and drinking sodas and milkshakes. I squeezed myself in as close as I could get to that 19" b/w and watched that first step for all mankind. After the initial novelty subsided, I looked around at the group of students with whom I shared that little piece of Earth. We were from different schools, different states, different races, but all of us were united for that moment without any of those differences being apparent. There was a cheer that went up with Armstrong's first step that transcended all of our different upbringings. I was moved in a way that has followed me since.
On that night, I came to realize that we were not just the white race, and the black race, and the red and yellow races, we were the human race. All of us fumbling along together on this little rock in space until we make that next big leap forward. That leap, I hope, will come soon. I have a great belief in the future of our species, but I fear our foolhardiness and conceit with regards to each other and our home, Earth. I believe now, as then, that our collective future must include leaving this world. It is our nature to move forward and explore and colonize new territory. We should do it together and do it in peace.
I was sitting on the sofa with my grandmother watching it on TV. While I sat there with my grandmother she said, "Artie, I was a young girl when I read about the Wright Brothers first flight at Kittyhawk; and then a few short years later I listened to Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic on the radio; now I am getting to see man step onto the Moon on television." My grandmother not only gave me a brief history of flight but she also gave me a brief history of communication. And what impressed me is all this happened in one lifetime.
Where will we be in 66 years from July 20, 1969? What will we be telling our grandchildren?
-Art Urban, Aerospace Educator and Flight Museum Director
On July 20, 1969, I was a Catholic priest, pastor of a church in Chorrillo, Panama City. It was of course fascinating to watch, but I felt ambivalent. One of my co-workers, a sister, walked through and dismissed it, saying something like "What a waste!" Chorrillo was made up of two-story wooden houses built in 1913 when the Panamanian and West Indian workers who had built the canal were expelled after it was completed. For decades Chorrillo had been a crowded poor area, viewed with fear by outsiders. In a census we did around that time, we found that 251 people were living--one family to a room-- in the 40-room house next to the church. It had about a half dozen toilets and a half dozen showers.
Since my arrival in Panama in 1965 I had become more "Latin American," more radical, more impatient with the kind of misdeveloped world in which some could go to the Moon, while others were stuck in places like Chorrillo. Hence, my ambiguity even about something as wonderful as the Moon landing. "If we can put a human on the Moon, we can ..." No, I don't think the money should have been spent on social programs. Yes, I appreciate the difference between a feat that is the result of countless engineering tasks plus courage, and the inequalities and injustices resulting from what we do to one another--and don't do for each other--on planet Gaia.
Still, a part of me keeps saying, "If we can put someone on the Moon... "
-Phil Berryman, Translator, Writer
I was serving aboard the U.S.S Will Rogers SSBN659. We were nearing the end of our patrol in the North Atlantic, exactly where, we as crew members did not know.
We had been following the trip to the Moon via Armed Forces Radio out of Europe. The day we received the word of the landing I was in the sonar room listening to the marine life around us as our Captain made an all hands announcement regarding the success of the landing. It was an interesting sensation to be listening to whale songs directly and enjoying the moment of happiness we all felt for our Space program.
We did not actually see any film of the landing until we returned to the states. You can imagine how much we wanted to see a tape of the first foot steps. Since then, whenever watching Neil Armstrong's first step, I remember my Sonar Liberty listening to the whale songs. He was in outer space and we were in inner space.
-Ralph T. Stetson III, ET1(SS) USN Ret.
On 20 July 1969 I was a young man 8 days from celebrating my 14th birthday. I was in the company of my 71 year old grandmother watching Neil Armstrong step on the lunar surface through the eyes of a TV camera beaming a signal thousands of miles to Earth. She had a unique perspective of this amazing event. Born in 1897 and raised on a farm in Missouri, she saw the industrial might of these United States shine. In the seven decades of her life she had witnessed the development of the telephone, television, the automobile, the birth of modern aviation, witnessed C.A. Lindbergh's amazing solo flight across the Atlantic, and saw the space program land a man on the Moon. Living during these times she never lost her perspective on life. She was, till her death, a strong, determined and at times, opinionated woman. Seeing history through her eyes made me very conscious of man's capabilities and my growing love of history. Sitting in the living room with my grandmother, who as a young girl met Frank James, Jesse James' brother, made me very aware at my young age how far we as a people had come technologically. This event had a great impact on my life. Sharing it with my grandmother who had seen history being made, made it even more exciting.
I have just returned from serving in Kosovo and witnessed first hand the ugliness of man toward his fellow man. But knowing what man is capable of and having shared an unforgettable event with my grandmother 30 years ago keeps me forever hopeful that man will endure. We are an imperfect people striving to make a perfect world.
-Lt. Col. Robert Taylor , USMC
My daughter had been born on June 16, 1969. I was spending an enormous amount of time feeding her. The Moon landing was a perfect backdrop. I did not mind sitting for hours and days watching everything about the Moon landing as I nursed her through those extremely important weeks. I also never once felt guilty about completing the everyday chores. I knew they would always be there, but the first Moon landing was a once in a universe event. I did a lot of wondering. I remember thinking that this was probably the first time in the history of the universe that an intelligent being from one body in this universe was visiting another body in the universe. I believed then that it was only the beginning.
I have been dismayed that our passion for exploration has diminished. I was sure I would see a man or woman walk on Mars, and that there would be a first planetary visit and possibly a colonization.
A year or so back I participated in a live chat with Carl Sagan. I remember asking him about how difficult it must be to know that he will probably never know the answers to the most tantalizing questions about the beginning of our universe. He is not the only one I've asked that question. Most of my friends do not seem to care. I trust, however, that many more do care, but that it does not seem cool these days to have an interest like that when there are so many mundane everyday problems to solve here. I believe that man must think about the really big picture or his existence and the existence of all human beings will be in jeopardy down the road. We seem to worry so much about the extinction of various other species but, like children who think bad things can never happen to them, refuse to consider the ramifications of standing still and not thinking seriously about the future of mankind. Do we not care if we go the way of the dinosaurs? Is our own life span all that matters? Do we continue to procreate toward a point in time when it will all end? Reaching for the planets and stars is the only answer. We do know that this planet will end one day. If we are not the ones to dream and plan, then who?