This past Friday the final space shuttle, Atlantis, lifted off. I was sad. “An end of an era,” I thought. Talking about the lift-off with my son he recalled watching the last of the Apollo missions. They concluded in 1972 when he was a 10 year old in 4th grade. He says he remembers that the teachers were glued to the TV but the kids didn’t really get the significance of the moment.
I distinctly remember how thrilling the lunar landings were–especially the first one. I was proud of my country for this stunning achievement. I found it impossible to believe that a living person was walking on the moon. Though I saw the pictures it didn’t seem real.
The Apollo missions followed by the shuttles were part of my youth and beyond. My dad was an internal auditor at North American Aviation, later Rockwell, and now Boeing. My brother-in-law was an engineeer on both the Apollo missions and the shuttle program. Dad did such a good job that he was awarded the Buc Trimmer trophy which now lives in my house. I am very fond of Buc and proud of my family’s role in the space program.