Right Stuff Needed for Fiscal Moonshot
On Saturday, as Americans debated whether Lance Armstrong was a genuine hero after dropping his fight with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, another Armstrong — an indisputable American hero — died. Were Webster’s to pair Neil Armstrong with “hero” in its dictionary, one needn’t Think Again to fathom the bravery, achievement and nobility implied by the word.
By fulfilling President Kennedy’s audacious goal to have an American walk on the moon within the decade, Neil Armstrong is remembered for the skill, courage, grace under pressure and innate humility necessary to achieve “one giant leap for mankind” while crediting legions of dedicated others for the “one small step for man” he took on July 20, 1969. Upon fulfilling his mission, he didn’t spike the football or parlay fame into power or fortune. He receded into dignified private life to teach and inspire future generations.
In breaking the sad news, NBC’s Brian Williams asserted, “We have lost the last American hero,” as if surrendering America’s heroic destiny to our era’s chaos and controversy. Yet throughout our tumultuous history, Americans have proven, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” starting with George Washington, who summoned heroism in his beleaguered troops by crossing the icy Delaware River en route to American independence.
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Melanie Sturm lives in Aspen. Her column runs every other Thursday. She reminds readers to Think Again. You might change your mind. She welcomes comments email@example.com.
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