Some stories are worth telling time and again. Because they are not stories, but history. The history of those miracles all generations need. At the end of this year, when the covidic neo-communism performed the counter-miracle of suspending overnight our future, our morals, our memory and our freedom, with an ease and speed I never believed possible, I think these stories need to be retold more than ever.

Once upon a time, in California

It was before I was born, in January 1967. Ronald Reagan, the recently elected governor of free California, said in his inaugural address, with the lucidity and clarity only the very few chosen (by God) have:

„Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

Back then, the Californians understood the Miracle of Freedom. As long as Ronald Reagan was their Governor (till 1975) the kept and defended their liberty. Then, when America was one step away form becaming the 17th colony of the USSR (under Jimmy Carter), another miracle happened: despite the huge adversity and the predictions of the political, media, and intellectual elites, and against much of the Republican establishment, Reagan became the 40th President of America, giving back the Freedom and Hope not only to the American people, but also to us. At the end of 1989, the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe collapsed.

But miracles don’t happen on their own. They have a certain „manufacturing technology”. Next generations have been helped to forget or reject it – the American Left has taken care of it. That’s how the beautiful and rich California has managed to eventually lose its Freedom and it’s not sure if it will ever regain it. But there is still hope: Donald Trump and the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him for the second time, in 2020 – officially, they are 75; unofficialy but legally, they are probably 80 millions. As for the rest of us? Who knows, maybe another miracle…

Next Christmas, the Earth was rising

In December 1968, another miracle happened. It could only happen there, in America, in that particular and special kind of Freedom.

Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders, the crew of Appolo 8, were the first humans to reach the orbit of the Moon. The first people ever to see the Rise of Earth from space. „Earthrise”, the picture taken by Bill Anders,  captured for posterity the image of a rare beauty.

FLORIDA, UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 1968: Apollo 8 astronauts (L-R) Frank Borman, William Anders, Jim Lovell

Then, on Christmas Eve, looking at Earth from afar,  Frank Borman, James Lovell si William Anders sent a message to the people of the Blue Planet. The message was this:

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 continued:
 „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 closed:
 „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.”

„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.”

The message was from the Bible, the book of Genesis. Probably NASA would not have broadcasted it today. Too politically incorrect, too racist – you know, all three astronauts were white Christian men – and offending too many sensibilities of so many Godless people. Best reason to be reminded. And let them be offended, I don’t care.

As for the rest of the story of the extraordinary crew of Appollo 8, I let Alexandru Hancu, the author of the short movie below to tell it.

Merry Christmas and don’t forget to believe in miracles!

Until YouTube approves, if it approves, the English subtitles  I submitted for this video,  I give you the English transcript of Alex’s narration:

As promissed, in our last episode of 2008, we have a Christmas story. A forgotten one, as all other wonderful stories. Cynicism, hideousness and depression are more fashionable today. Let’s take a break.

I propose to you a story about a tv broadcast, perhaps the most glorious ever. Exactly 40 years ago [nowadays 52], it was bringing in the earthlings’ homes a Christmas miracle.

[Bill Anders reciting from the book of Genesis]

On the 24th of December 1968, after a year full of cruelty, dementia and despair, three fellow humans have changed the history for ever. Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Bill Anders. Do you know who they are? The crew of Appollo 8. First people to have ever traveled from Earth to Moon. Those who proved it possible. And they did it on Christmas.

[ Appollo 8’s crew remembering their mission]
There are about 380000 km to the Moon. Borman, Lovell si Anders didn’t land on the Moon, but were the first to reach the Moon’s orbit and come back, in a tin can, with computers more rudimentary than nowadays pocket calculators, and threatened by death at any given moment.

[Appollo8’s crew remembering the mission]

And yet, they made it. On Christmas Eve, over a billion amazed viewers watched them transmitting live from the Moon’s orbit. The improvised filmmakers showed them the night star, but mostly the Earth first seen from the Moon. Our Earth, the Earth of us all.

The three of them have left the surprise for the end. The idea belonged to commander Frank Borman. They announced a message for the entire humanity, then took turns reading the verses of Genesis from the bible. The crew of Appollo 8 has ended wishing merry Christmas and God bless all of you – all of you from the Good Earth. Unimaginable today, when we have to protect so many sensibilities.

The conclusion? None. Only a few observations.

Exactly 40 years ago, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, first earthinlgs to reach the Moon, were free to say exactly what they were feeling, on Christmas Eve, alone at 380000km from Earth, torn apart by homesickness, missing their wives and children, overwhelmed by the fear of death in the immensity of cosmos.

Few months later the world had changed. Appollo 11 landed on the Moon and Buzz Aldrin kept silent about his gesture after the moon landing: Buzz took the Holy Communion with a piece of bread and a drop of wine. Then he helped Neil Armstrong to make history.

Today, the Appollo expeditions look like miracles. Many think they never happened. They have. Forty years ago, fellow men of ours achieved the miracle. With courage, genius, honour and faith.

Today, other things are fashionable. And towards other planets we only fly in movies with special effects.

Finally, a riddle: Despite appearances, Christmas is not a secular celebration dedicated to shopping, food, drink, halucinogenic substances and sex with strangers, perhaps in groups. Then, what could it be?

Along with my collegues, I wish you a Merry Christmas! – Alexandru Hancu, December 2008


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