• Leigh Gerstenberger

Getting in touch with your emotions

Updated: Nov 6, 2018



Getting in touch with your emotions is often interesting.

Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to attend a special event at Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center.  The exhibit entitled "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission" was being displayed outside of the Smithsonian Institution for the first time.

As I walked thru the exhibit which featured over 50 years of history devoted to man's conquest of space, I saw news reel of the Adam Shepherd launch of the first American in space; John Glenn's orbit around the earth; and the Apollo 1 disaster that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White.

Also prominently displayed was the Apollo 11 space capsule that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon and back.  And of course there was film of the terrible Columbia and Challenger disasters that took the lives of 14 astronauts over a 17 year period of time.

As a baby boomer, I grew up during the 1960s, a time when man's exploration of space knew no boundaries. I grew up believing that anything was possible.

While I don't remember President Kennedy giving the speech that challenged our nation to conquer space, I've certainly heard the quote, "we choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard" many times over the years. However, as I wandered through this exhibit I actually came across the film looping the entire speech that was given at Rice University football on September 12, 1962.

I was mesmerized as the nineteen minute speech transported me back to a time in our country's history where presidents were great orators and visionaries who challenged us to dream big and believe that as Americans we could accomplish and conquer anything.

And that's when the nostalgia began to wash over me as I reflected on how real leaders inspire us to become more than we think we are capable of being.

Maybe I was longing for good times and wonderful childhood memories. Perhaps I was reflecting with sadness on how our society is so far removed from that bygone era.  Whatever the reason, I got a lump in my throat and I was caught off guard by the emotions that welled up within me.

When you have a few minutes to be inspired, take some time to listen to a gifted orator and let me know how or if this speech delivered more than 45 years ago affected you.


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