Whither U.S. greatness?

For those today who are treated to a seemingly unending selection of high-tech gadgets, it may interest many to learn just what our country was able to accomplish in a time when there were not so many of these wonders. For those who remember America landing on the moon 44 years ago this month, it was one for the ages.


People growing up today in the postmodern computing world really have no concept of how hard this historic feat was. And to make it even more fantastic, we did it six times.

Try to understand, computing in the 1960s was the stuff of science fiction, for the most part. The best that scientists could hope for was a 10,000-square-foot complex filled with machines made of vacuum tubes, and the computing capacity less than that of today’s cell phone. The computing age was in its infancy.

I was a kid then, and even though as our nation had many troubles, much like today, the things we had then that seem to be missing now were pride, confidence and the knowledge that our wonderful country could overcome any obstacle and any adversity. These feelings were not just reserved for Americans, but were shared by millions of people from all corners of Earth. In those days, we were the masters of any challenge, and America was looked upon with respect and envy.

Yes, 44 years ago America reaffirmed to the world our power and determination to do the impossible. And as a young boy growing up, there was never a doubt in my mind that our country could do anything. This truth was a given – and we took it for granted.

Now, more than four decades later, the face of America is a lighter shade of gray. We have lost what we thought could not be lost. Memories of our greatness are lost in time, and now only reruns of our great feats slide past uninterested eyes – kids never knowing the greatness that was America. We have now become only a shadow of what we once were, engrossed in our smart phones and American Idol. And America’s greatness has become an empty suit with no one to fill it.


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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon