Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gagarin A Hero?

April 12, 1961 the Soviet Union put the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin was blasted into space
and spent 108 minutes orbiting the earth.

It was a telling blow to America's space program. Our country was hard at work trying to beat
the Soviets.

This also fed the Russian military programs, it helped build their ICBM, which were then equiped
with nuclear warheads. Thus increasing the threat of a possible first strike against the United States.

So why did so many Americans celebrate the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's
space flight? Celebrity status should not have been given to Yuri, a hero in the old Soviet Union
yes, but to the U.S. I think not.

The celebrations across our country are like a slap in the face of all Cold War Veterans. The fact
that for even a short time the Soviets had an advantage is not a circumstance to be honored.

The men and women who served during that era do not see him in the same light as those who
attended the parties and hailed him as if he were a knight in shining armor.

Russia has long held him as a hero and they should be proud of him and his accomplishment.
He did a great and very scary mission.

But, we can not forget that what happened certainly heated up the Cold War, and probably
managed to prolong the struggle even more. As the rockets grew bigger and could carry more
nuclear warheads, the U.S. had to build more and even more powerful weapons.

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996