Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. Poses For A Photograph Beside The Deployed Flag Of The United States. Getty Images

The Great Triumph

Apollo at 50

With the dust from the Fourth of July now cleared, another great American celebration has arrived—the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, America’s triumphant moonshot. This country, along with many others around the world, will commemorate the moon landings on July 20, 2019, as both a pinnacle of American achievement, and the triumph of human freedom.

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 exploded off the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center and soared Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin into the history books as the first men to walk the moon. As Armstrong famously said, the mission was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The landing was more than scientific achievement, it was a validation of American ideals—there is no limit to what can be achieved.

(L to R): Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Getty Images

Since the launch took place during the Cold War, the success of the mission became a unifying event, one that bound all Americans together, as a nation. Similarly, as our country sits divided today, the anniversary of the mission should, albeit briefly, unify us. We should come together to celebrate the accomplishments of our nation, reminding everyone of what can happen when we join together for the common good of humanity.

Though 50 years old, the Apollo mission still represents what makes America the place of dreams for so many, a place where anything is possible for those who dare to close their eyes and believe. In this time where many fear the demise and retreat of this country, the anniversary of the mission is a tremendous reminder of what this country can do when it opens its doors and its minds to possibility and all those who seek it.

Thanks to the success of events like Apollo 11, my generation has the dreams of going farther, flying higher and achieving things greater than ever thought possible.

Klær Nike

Yoav Shames is a junior at The Ramaz School in Manhattan. He is a member of the Fresh Ink for Teens' Editorial Board.

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