Kennedy, Von Braun earned country's thanks

info@islandpacket.comJune 21, 2013 

Unfortunately, the world has never acknowledged the extraordinary accomplishments of two great people. One is well known, revered and loved. The other most people have never even heard of. They changed the future of America's technological achievements, which still have not been equaled by anyone.

The first was President John F. Kennedy, when he announced in the 1960s that America would put a man on the moon within 10 years. What he started, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration developed, was a path to so many technological achievements that they must number in the hundreds, if not thousands, principally, the miniaturization of electronic devices. But they also developed computers, software, lightweight materials and on and on.

The second man to whom we owe so much was not even an American. Werner von Braun, developed the dreaded German V-2 rockets that rained down on England during World War II. After the war, he and his fellow scientists escaped to America and eventually to the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Ala., where they developed the rockets that put our men on the moon. Because of him and his fellow scientists, we were able to get well ahead of the Russians. Unfortunately, he was never given the credit he was due.

President Ronald Reagan would not have been successful in his attempt to overwhelm the Soviet Union without the technological achievements that these two men helped to achieve. Kennedy was, indeed, a visionary. Von Braun made that vision happen.

Tom Hatfield

Hilton Head Island

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service