Apollo 13 Astronaut Jim Lovell spoke at the Ithaca College graduation on Sunday.

“My mother could hardly believe I circled the moon in 1968, but today my 43-year-old son doesn’t think it’s any big deal,” Lovell said. “Because, after all, we had done it as long as he can remember. Your generation will stand on a higher hill because of the mountains we have climbed. And the whole world benefits from your ready acceptance of them. If you can take our accomplishments as commonplace, then think of the new horizons that you can see beyond.”

Let’s not let the mountains we stand upon, thanks to heroes like Jim Lovell, go to waste.

The line to pay attention to, right here, right now is this:

There’s always a shortsighted tendency in all of us to cancel our long range goals if we cannot see immediate returns. But we must commit ourselves to long range goals if we are able to succeed.

As we sit at a crossroads in  the American space program, we need to look far into the future and decide where to go.  The task is too important, and the next mountain to climb is too tall without a resolve to accomplish a single goal for the betterment of all mankind.