Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
Yesterday, May 29, was the birthday of President John F. Kennedy. He would have turned 97.
Without any doubt, humanity's greatest achievement was landing a man on the Moon in 1969. One of President Kennedy's great achievements was setting that goal for the United States.
First he set the vision, then he inspired the nation to embrace the vision and then, crucially, the resources necessary to achieve the vision.
A lesson for all leaders.
May 25, 1961, Speech to Congress:
"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish." See YouTube clip here
September 12, 1962, Speech at Rice University:
"We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win and the others too." See YouTube clip here
July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon, a few minutes later, Buzz Aldrin descends ladder on the Lunar Module.
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Lest anyone forgets, or sadly doesn't know, the impact the moon landing had on people, watch this YouTube clip of Walter Cronkite's coverage at the time here
"When that vehicle landed on the Moon, I was speechless. I really couldn't say a thing."