Dreams Flying High
I'm back, one hundred years later, watching the festivities just as I was here when the dream came true. I have seen a lot in my life and yet what I witnessed in those few seconds still stands out as a magical moment. I have seen the world change beyond recognition, for the most part it's been a gradual process but there have been a handful of moments that can be pinpointed to a specific time and place. I can still remember a time when fire was a spirit, a magical entity that could barely be tamed and was contemplated with a mixture of fear and awe, so for me to see what they did on this field was a reminder of just how far they had come. In this place I saw men achieve what had always represented the unachievable.
I only wish this time it could have been different but even then I knew it wouldn't be and --unfortunately-- I was right beyond my worst fears. It took them only a few years to add a gun to it, to turn the dream into a weapon, into something that would allow them to kill better, to kill more. Within fifty years the dream had been turned into the ideal means to rain down death and destruction on unsuspecting populations on a scale I could never have imagined back when I --along with my brothers-- embodied death and destruction. In the course of a few years, less than a mortal's lifetime, their dream had brought them to the brink of self-destruction and yet they are still here, celebrating.
It's been a strange ride these past hundred years, one that has transformed the world we share and the lives we lead. Just as they turned their dream into an instrument of death in a matter of years, it also became an instrument of hope as they looked beyond the skies and reached for the Moon. That took them less than seventy years.
I am certainly not naive but it still pains me to know that today --even as we celebrate--the wars go on, the hatred keeps growing all over the world and what was once a dream is contributing to the killing. The world has changed beyond recognition in the past century --both for better and for worse-- and I can't help but wonder where will their dreams take them in the next hundred years.
December 17, 2003
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Author's Note: For those of you who hate history, Kitty Hawk, NC, is where the Wright brothers first powered flight took place, on December 17, 1903... it lasted all of twelve seconds.