Michael Collins

There is a television commercial making the rounds right now.  It is sponsored by an airlines; and it praises the “pioneers of aviation” – or so it claims. At one point in the ad, the announcer says “Thank you Neil and Buzz…” which automatically raised a red flag in my brain (red flags hurt until you write about them.)

The commercial is obviously referring to the Apollo 11 mission, America’s first moon landing (as far as we know), which took place in 1969. With me being a pretty big “space geek” back then – having dreams of becoming an astronaut (until I saw the rigorous training horrors of the centrifuge and other such motion-sickness inducing devices) – I immediately knew something was wrong with the ad: the Apollo 11 mission had three astronauts.  Only two were thanked.

History books now tell us that Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon.  He was followed soon after by Buzz Aldrin. But do they mention Michael Collins?  If not, then they should!

Michael Collins was the astronaut who piloted the Apollo 11 Command Module while the other men made their excursion to the moon’s surface.  He orbited the moon for an entire day – all by himself – while the other men laid claim to glory and fame. The mission could not have been a success without him.  He was their ride back: the designated driver, if you will. Quiet and content to sit in the shadows, Michael Collins was every bit the hero – and that is my point.

How often to we heap praise on the overtly visual and verbal: the people in the spotlight, while other heroes – unsung heroes – go unnoticed? The answer is simple: we do this all the time. We forget to thank the people who make everything possible, opting instead to heap our adoration upon those in front of the camera.

My goal today is to say “Thank You!” to our other heroes: our parents, our teachers, our helpers, our mentors and supporters – the people who do not ask for our adoration, but who deserve it just as much.

Thank you, Michael Collins!  You are my hero!

About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

7 responses »

  1. Colleen says:

    So well said. It is interesting where we as humans heap our praise. At our school we have two pep assemblies for sports during school but band/orchestra/chorus concerts and National Honor Society are all after school. I would like to add to your list for Apollo 11 and thank all the scientists, engineers, technicians …. that made that moon landing possible.

  2. MCS Gal says:

    Thank you for reminding us that sometimes those people behind the scenes are the most critical yet they do their job without seeking public recognition.

    • Joe says:

      Most welcome. I think that’s the way it goes in life, and this is especially true if you look at what it takes to raise a child. The good part about this is that the true hero does not seek recognition — still, it feels good when one finally gets some. 🙂

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  3. I’m not a space geek!!! 🙂 BUT Dean Armstrong the brother to Neil was from the same small town in Ks. that I had an antique shop in at one time years ago–& Neil came to that town to visit his brother & wife!! It was a big deal to have Neil come visit Dean– because there was nothing else that went on in that town back then!!!! 🙂

    • Joe says:

      Wow! I would have given anything to have met him. I heard he was a very quiet person who really didn’t like the spotlight — a true hero. Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  4. […] In Praise of Michael Collins (steppingoutwithanagoraphobic.wordpress.com) […]

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