Friday, December 9th, 2016

The great explorer

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As any good Wisconsinite with a Scandinavian heritage knows, Leif Ericson landed in the New World long before Christopher Columbus. We now know that the Vikings had settlements in present-day Greenland and Newfoundland. However, the settlements did not last, and the discovery of new lands passed into legend. Ericson died 500 years before Christopher Columbus would return to the New World and the start of the migrations of the European peoples to the Americas.

American astronaut Neil Armstrong died Saturday at the age of 82. Armstrong, too, died not knowing if his “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” was the beginning of man’s exploration of the stars, or just a momentary step beyond the Earth before a long retreat from the heavens. Armstrong took mankind to a new world in 1969. We should not wait 500 years to follow in his footsteps.

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