it's not my day. it's my dad's. he says there are three days, three events, that are burned into his memory and he will never forget. like my generation and many others, one of those is 9/11(01) when our nation lost our naivety. one is november 22, 1963 when we were kicked out of camelot. but the third is the event i want to share with you today.
because today, of all days, we need a smile. we need a triumph. we need to hold onto something. we need a moonwalk.
it was july 20, 1969. my dad was 21. at chapel hill. he was in a frat. he still had most of his hair. and it would be years before he met my mom. years before i'd be daddy's little girl. and long before his mustache would go salt and pepper.
the moon. that thing we look up at every night and imagine a man made of cheese that cows jump over.
that rock that has captured our imaginations for eons. men walked on that.
and my dad sat in a room with students and professors alike watching it happen via the magic of television.
the entire room was hushed. breath was collectively held. as people expereinced the triumph of man together.
he says he can remember what he was wearing. and what that pretty girl next to him was wearing. and the pencil she was tapping.
he says he can remember the swelling tension in the room as the entire nation watched with pride as we won a race.
the pressure build as mankind took that giant leap. and the collective exhalation that left everyone in the room smiling. left everyone excited. happy. the exhalation of celebration.
he remembers all that the same way i remember exactly where i was at 9am on 9/11/01. and i know that someday, a man will walk on the moon for me. because i need that. we all need that. we need a man to walk on the moon. we need our eraser-smell and breath-exhalation. we need something to hold onto.