We WERE Exceptional…50 Years Ago Today…

American Exceptionalism is exactly what it sounds like – or, at least, it used to be.

American. Exceptional. It is, or was, the act of being American and doing exceptional things. It seems odd, that on Presidents’ Day, when we should be celebrating those Presidents who exemplified the very spirit of American Exceptionalism, we instead can be directly reminded of it’s decline.

It’s the date. Today’s date. February 20th, 2012, which directly calls into question the exceptionalism which used to be ours but sadly, is now in steep decline.

Why IS today’s date SO important to this discussion?

50 years ago today, American Exceptionalism was on full display. We did something THAT day we can’t do today and it was a matter of technology, bravery, spirit and sheer force of will.

The bravery is still there, spirit too. What we are sorely lacking today is the will and the technology.

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They Rode Rockets

I was born in 1960. When I was but 6 months old, Alan Shepard did something no American had ever done. He flew in space. I don’t remember that but again, I was but 6 months old at the time.

By the time I was old enough to comprehend such things as astronauts, we had finished with the Mercury program at NASA and moved on to the Gemini program. Some of the first important people I can remember hearing of, were the original 7 astronauts. Shepard, Glen, Grissom, Cooper, Carpenter, Schirra and Slayton. I knew their names before I knew what NASA was.

They rode rockets.

They rode rockets with USA on the side of them.

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