I’ve written before about how, growing up in the ‘60s, my heroes were the original NASA astronauts. I was glued to the TV for every launch, splashdown and press conference, and I knew their names and stats the way other kids knew baseball players. For me and millions of other kids, the words from the original “Star Trek” series, “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” weren’t some cheesy TV quote. They raised goosebumps, because for the first time in the history of mankind, there were men actually living among us who were risking their lives to go into space, “where no man has gone before.” And when Neil Armstrong made that “giant leap for mankind” by stepping on the moon and planting the American flag, it was a moment when all Americans watched in awe, filled with pride and patriotism to be part of the only nation on Earth that could have accomplished this incredible feat.
So naturally, I was looking forward to seeing “First Man,” a new movie about Neil Armstrong starring Canadian-born actor Ryan Gosling – until I heard some news this week that’s soured me on the whole idea. According to the Daily Telegraph, the filmmakers deliberately left out the most iconic moment of that historic event: the planting of the American flag on the surface of the moon. Why? I’ll let Gosling explain:
Gosling said they didn’t show the planting of the American flag because this accomplishment “transcended countries and borders…I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it. I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible. Bottom of Form He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true. So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
All things considered, I guess we’re lucky they didn’t show him planting the UN flag.
Over the years, I’ve had to watch leftist academics mislead young Americans with all sorts of historic revisionism to make America look bad, from vilifying Columbus and the Founders to accusing American soldiers of being war criminals. I’ve even watched Hollywood turn Captain America into a guy who doesn’t like America, and Superman into an oppressed immigrant who no longer fights for “truth, justice and the American way.” But as long as I am still around, I will not let them rewrite, revise or politicize history I actually lived through.
These are the facts: the moon landing was the result of a “space race” kicked off by concerns that the Russians were leaping ahead of us when they successfully launched the Sputnik satellite. That “space race” wasn’t between the entire globe and Jupiter or Mars. It was between Russia and the United States of America, and America won. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, many said impossible, vow that America would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. And Americans fulfilled their fallen leader’s vision, in July, 1969, with five months to spare.
All those other people Gosling referred to, who made the mission possible? Americans. NASA stands for “National Aeronautics and Space Administration.” “National” refers to a nation, and that nation is the United States of America. NASA was signed into existence by American President Dwight Eisenhower as part of the US Government in 1958. All of the brave astronauts who risked, and gave, their lives to achieve Kennedy’s vision? Americans, every one.
“But what about all the German scientists who contributed?” You mean the ones who became American citizens first? And remember “Hidden Figures,” the book and movie about the black female mathematicians at NASA? All African-Americans. I can’t resist asking: Why are these Hollywood liberals trying to downplay JFK’s legacy and deny credit to immigrants and black women? Why all the hate and bigotry?
And as long as we’re talking about immigrants who contributed to NASA, note that they had to leave their homelands and come here because America was the only country where something like this could happen. That’s partly because we are the descendants of the immigrants from all those other nations who had the guts to say, “There must be someplace better, and I’ll venture out into the unknown and risk my life to find it.” Is it any wonder why, with that attitude in our DNA, we are the first nation to plant its flag on the moon, and, to this day, still the only nation to do so?
And let’s also clear up that “Neil Armstrong didn’t think of himself as an American hero” business. The emphasis on that sentence should be on the word “hero,” not “American.” Like most real heroes, he was a humble man who just thought he was doing his duty. But I know he was certainly a hero, because he, and all the other astronauts, were my heroes. I’m certain he thought of himself as a proud American.
To prove it, another genuine American space race hero who should know the truth, Gen. Chuck Yeager, responded on Twitter (@GenChuckYeager): “That's not the Neil Armstrong I knew…More Hollywood make-believe.”
In a bad sign for the movie’s prospects, Internet memes ridiculing its PC lunar-cy are already appearing online. In one, an astronaut on the moon is shown taking a knee in front of the flag, NFL-style, with the caption, “Kneel Armstrong.”
Another purports to show a preview of the version of the movie that will be released in China, showing the Chinese flag being planted on the moon.
If all this hasn’t convinced the makers of this movie that they made one giant leap of logic and planted their faces on the moon’s surface, then let me explain it in terms they might better understand:
Imagine you win an Oscar, and someone who had nothing to do with it comes up out of the audience, takes credit and accepts it. Now, multiply the importance of that honor by about 200 trillion times.