posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:34 PM
Thanks for the thread. There may be many contributors here that take for granted the news of some new and exiting discovery about our universe that
are becoming fairly routine, such as the advancements in the search for extra-solar planets that may harbor life and the newest and greatest rover to
stroll around Mars. But we need to be reminded that there was a time, not too long ago, when the general population was totally ignorant of the
wonders of the universe and our place in it.
That was where Sagan made his greatest impact. He brought into our homes the view of a cosmos far greater than what we dealt with in our day to day
lives. The possibilities for the human race to ask questions they normally would overlook, and to impart just how small we were in a grand universe.
Small, not insignificant. Small in the sense that we had the potential to expand and strive for goals that seemed unthinkable only a few short years
He was often parodied for his "billions and billions" comments but that was just his point. There was so much "out there" that the common man just
couldn't comprehend how vast the issue was. We throw around the word trillions now as if it were ten dollars. He died at a fairly young age (62) but
I can just picture the glee he felt when the Hubble Deep Field image was published just prior to his death. In the deepest and darkest view of an
extremely small area of space it was revealed that not just a multitude of stars were visible, but a multitude of galaxies.
I am a native of Ithaca, NY, the home of Cornell University, and where Sagan taught and lived. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Sagan as he was
building a new home. A modest home. The only thing that was special was that it sat on a bluff overlooking Cayuga Lake. ( I was a code inspector) He
was a simple man, small in stature but grand in his visions. He was not a movie star or self absorbed with his celebrity, just someone who felt a need
to share his passion for a greater understanding of the universe in all its glory. Michio Kaku has taken up this mantel today and continues the work
that Sagan began.
I returned to Ithaca a few years ago after the death of a dear friend. As I was leaving the cemetery I noticed a small and very unassuming gravestone
with these simple words: Carl Sagan, Nov. 9, 1934, December 20, 1996. My wife had no idea who he was and I didn't feel the need to enlighten her
outside the comment that he was a great man who provided a vision that we are still looking up to to this day.