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Sun, Oct. 20

Wiederaenders: Man on moon? What’s real? Where were you?!

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

I can remember where I was when Elvis Presley died. I was at home, and I can still hear my mom’s screams. She was truly heart broken.

I also recall where I was when I heard that John Lennon had been shot and killed. For that one, my brother and I were at the mall — and I’ll never forget my brother being more emotional about it than anyone else.

President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas before I was born, but I remember when President Ronald Reagan was shot.

Remembering milestones of life, society and history makes me think of two things – conspiracies and people who don’t remember things.

With the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon coming up in less than two weeks, we’re starting to hear from the nay-sayers and about the conspiracies.

Did it really happen? People question the fluttering flag in the astronauts’ photos, the lack of dust, even “who took the photo?” questions that have been explained.

Some folks still are not satisfied.

I don’t remember because I was a 2-year-old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I met him once, and I have no doubt that he walked on that cheese disc in the night sky.

Seems I can be a skeptic through my work, and still believe some things are absolutely true. Maybe it’s when I meet people. Still, I think there are some things in life for which the government knows much more than we do, but not everything.

Regardless, I think we who remember things are a dying breed. Forget the conspiracy theorists; technology is changing society and generations too much.

My more recent significant memories of “where I was” are Prescott’s Fallen 19 (June 30, 2013) and the terrorist attacks on 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001). For the Hotshots, I was at work, and I was driving on Williamson Valley Road when news broke about 9/11.

But so many of the children of today don’t remember.

I was appalled when someone asked me recently about the significance of June 30. Why was the newspaper preparing so much for something that was just in a movie (“Only the Brave”)?

He thought it was “just a movie” — or that they were from somewhere, but it couldn’t have been “here,” he said looking up briefly from his iPhone.

This man was young, but he would have been in college when the Hotshots died. So many people – not necessarily the young — spend so much time staring at their cellphones, it gives new meaning to “smart phone.” This is probably because the devices suck intelligence from you, as they disengage you from life.

Maybe it is because I want to believe in some things that I work to remember. I look to the stars and a full moon, wondering what early man thought of it all.

More so, I think it is about concentrating on life and what we can learn from it – giving us direction, meaning, then making up our own minds.

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” — Stephen Hawking

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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