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B.J. DRYE COLUMN: Focus on something meaningful

It was 50 years ago this weekend that astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.

It was an event celebrated around the world. People gathered around their television sets or their neighbors’ sets and watched as the Apollo 11 crew and NASA fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s vision of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

While history often shows the moon landing as something everyone was for, there were people who thought it was a waste of money. People here on Earth were starving. Why not put that money to helping them?

They make a good point. We still have people going hungry. Even though some people will not admit it, some of those going hungry are here in this county.

In the realm of time, 50 years is not that long. But in our world today, 50 years ago seems so far removed.

It seems like now the only times our nation comes together as one is to either send “thoughts and prayers” after a school shooting or act of terrorism, or to turn themselves old before their time by using some ridiculous app on their phone.

Even with the opposition to the moon landing, it is something we should remember. It was a first.

It is something from which we can learn.

Yet, during this historic week, the news cycle has been dominated by racist tweets from the president.

There were racist comments from presidential candidates around 50 years ago. So it’s not new, just the form in which it is transmitted has changed.

So if we could put our focus on putting a man on the moon within a decade — and then actually do it, why can’t we put our focus on something meaningful now — and do it?

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at 704-982-2123, bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.