Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Class of 2009... Goin' to the Moon

Inspired by a tremendous Minnetonka, MN Class of 2009 Commencement Ceremony last evening, I came across this transcript this morning. It's the oft-quoted speech that John F. Kennedy gave at Rice University in September of 1962, announcing our country's decision to go to the moon.

In case you can't reach the link, the fifteenth paragraph goes like this:

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon... [interrupted by applause] we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

Several outstanding young men and women spoke last evening at the Minnetonka commencement and, to a person, what you just read is what they said. Oh, they may not have used the same words (although one faculty speaker discussed the "Ten Year Race" to one's dreams and ambitions that begins with high school commencement). In fact, by my recollection, not one student even mentioned the Moon. But there wasn't any doubt. Each and every one of them said the very same thing, nearly 47 years after President Kennedy spoke with the same ambition, the same spirit, the same fire, the same brashness, indeed, the very same impetuousness.

My faith in our future was shored up big time last night. Perhaps you can see why...