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We don’t make heroes anymore

14 October 2012 Leave a comment

Today I watched a man rise to the edge of space, and then with a brief salute, hurl himself back to the Earth. He went higher than anyone in a balloon ever has, and he fell. He fell faster than any human in history, breaking records that have stood for over 60 years. Born in the 80s, I never had an Apollo moment. I’ve never experienced genuine awe. I’ve never had a hero. That all changed today. Felix Baumgartner spent 2 hours climbing to the edge of space and 5 minutes coming back. When that capsule door opened, and that stark line between the Earth and space became visible, Felix stood up, walked to the door, and jumped. He selflessly threw himself into a perilous freefall, exposing himself to the harshest environment we’ve ever journeyed. He went to edge of human existence and pushed it further. That is what a hero does. That’s what Armstrong, Aldren, and Collins did. Today, I found my first hero.