Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Letter Lore: "A Quarter Century's Worth of Thanks"

If The Letter Jar project has had one consistent theme, it's gratitude. At times it has seemed there are as many reasons to be grateful as there are names in the jar (a wonderful situation indeed). I've thanked:

*A former employee for his dedication and creativity

*A one-time presidential candidate for treating me with respect when I interviewed him as a cub reporter

*My son's daycare teacher for her extraordinary support and skill

*The public defender who made me a better reporter

I've thanked an airline customer service agent who made a difference for me at a crucial moment, favorite musicians for sharing their gifts. Old flames for teaching me how to have fun. My parents for raising me well.

The dozens of thank yous I've penned have humbled me -- I've wondered at times how an average gal like me gets so lucky and deserves such riches. However the letter below, discovered through the truly amazing Letters of Note website, shows that not even the most "un-average" among us are above acknowledging help. Here, on the 25th anniversary of the lunar landing, the first man on the moon thanks the makers of his "EMU," or Extravehicular Mobility Unit:

To the EMU gang:

I remember noting a quarter century or so ago that an emu was a 6 foot Australian flightless bird. I thought that got most of it right.

It turned out to be one of the most widely photographed spacecraft in history. That was no doubt due to the fact that it was so photogenic. Equally responsible for its success was its characteristic of hiding from view its ugly occupant.

Its true beauty, however, was that it worked. It was tough, reliable and almost cuddly.

To all of you who made it all that it was, I send a quarter century's worth of thanks and congratulations.


Neil A. Armstrong

The perfect thank you -- humble, heartfelt and even a little humorous (the "almost cuddly" EMU?) Who doesn't have someone to thank for working for us, for giving us a lift when we needed it, for a boost in our critical hour?

Write on.


Jen said...

Love that you found this! The thought of a cuddly EMU (of either kind) makes me laugh. Great inspiration to write more thank yous of my own.

chewytulip said...

As a fan of the feathered emu AND space flight, I was greatly amused by this quote. Thanks for posting it! I also wanted to let you know that the stamps from the first week of your contest arrived at my house safe and sound. They are already being put to good use! (Thank you!)

365 Letters said...

I'm enjoying your blog! There are quite a few letter-writing bloggers out there! I'm glad I came across your blog.