Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission when the first men walked on the moon. It is also my grandson’s 12th birthday. We decided to celebrate both. My mom thought it was a good idea to visit our local Space Discover Center to find space things to send my grandson. We went the other day and found a t-shirt, some “Lunar Landing Thinking Putty” that glows in the dark and has moon dust in it, and the ever popular astronaut ice cream. My dad has always been interested and involved in space. He even wrote a textbook called, “Introduction to Space”. I knew he had some interesting keepsakes and searched around until I found them. I discovered a book written about the Apollo missions. He would take the book with him when he traveled to different conferences. Inside the cover, there are about a dozen signatures of different Apollo astronauts – including Buzz Aldrin. I also found a flyer from one symposium that had the autographs of both Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. My dad said the only time he saw Neil Armstrong was at a conference he attended in Russia. But the most exciting and important memento I found was a certificate made out to my dad recognizing the support he provided as a meteorologist in the Air Force during the Apollo 11 mission. I copied the certificate and some of the autographs and sent them along in the box to my grandson for his birthday. We video chatted yesterday so we could see him open the package. My son was perhaps more excited about the memorabilia than my grandson was. My dad explained to the family that when he was in the Air Force, his group was responsible for keeping an eye on the sun during the Apollo missions. They monitored the solar activity because if there would be a solar flare, it would have killed an astronaut walking on the moon. If that were to occur, they would need to warn the astronauts so they could take evasive action. Luckily, that never happened. To my dad, it was his job. To all of us, it was incredible that he was a part of this historical mission. Even my granddaughter chimed in with, “That’s amazing! I love it!”
I Found God today in remembering the accomplishment of humans and the role my dad played in that.