Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Greetings from Florida and Apollo 8 Remembered

Sometimes it is difficult to think of a Florida image that epitomizes Christmas. Luckily, Charlie Corbeil sent an e-greeting card with this photo of a Florida Mockingbird , Florida's state bird, with a wild balsam apple seed. The image lingered in my mind over several days, so I asked Charlie if I might use it for my Christmas Eve greeting card. Always generous in sharing his lovely photographs, he agreed. (Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Forty years ago this past Sunday, Apollo 8 lifted off on a mission to orbit the moon. So many "firsts" and so many technological accomplishments, but the lingering memory is of the astronauts (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders) beaming a television program from orbit to earth on Christmas Eve, during which they read from the Book of Genesis. They timed their broadcast to show the planet Earth hanging in the blackness of space and the surface of the moon visible in the lower left corner. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. In addition to our profound appreciation to NASA for its many technological achievements, we must also recognize their extraordinary sense of history and documentation that allows us to relive Apollo 8. Here, then, is that timeless greeting from the crew of Apollo 8, illustrated by NASA's photo entitled Rising Earth.

William Anders:
"For all the people on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you. "

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Jim Lovell:
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Frank Borman:
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."


Cactus Jack Splash said...

Have a wonderful Chrismas.
Thank you for opening up such a wonderful world to all of us "landlocked" dust eaters.

MsLiberty said...

What a lovely photo with an Asian sensibility about it. Happy Holidays! - Marilyn