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A Year To Remember

Quote: We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

– John F Kennedy

‘A year to remember’ is usually that phrase means that it was a big year. However, this year seems to be the year to remember past years. Earlier this summer we celebrated 50 years since the Moon landing and noted 75 years since D-Day. This month we celebrate 50 years since Woodstock and the culmination of the Summer of Love!

D-Day was an event of unbelievable magnitude in the history of our civilization. It was the first time humans had invaded another country to free it rather than capture it. The Allied Forces had to get to the European mainland in order to push back the Nazi’s and end their assault on (and insult to) what most cultures see as the idea of right. It was not a guaranteed success and the odds were against us, but through the will of truly great men, they succeeded in preserving freedom for everyone.

Those of us that are old enough to remember the Space Race and landing on the Moon look back with amazement at what we witnessed. It was the ultimate technological endeavor of the human race and we did it 50 years ago. Like most of my friends, I was completely engrossed in the whole thing. I can remember my parents letting me skip school when there was something important that was going to be televised. Lucky, Apollo 11 happened when school was out. I was so excited about the landing but had gotten the flu a couple days before the launch. My Grandparents went out and bought me a 13” black and white TV for my bedroom so I wouldn’t miss any of it. Back then there was no internet, no CNN, no VCR, just Walter Cronkite and live TV!

We went to the Moon! Note that I said ‘WE’, not ‘THEY’. We were one nation, dedicated to a single dream. While at 8 years old I didn’t do anything to actually help, I felt like I was part of it. Kennedy said “we” will go to the Moon and everyone felt like that. Everyone knows the differences in computing power today verses then. But, with all that computing power, what have we accomplished since then? Sure, there have been advances in medicine, computers, robots, and communication but ‘THEY’ invented those… where did ‘WE’ go?

8 year old Curtis thought we could accomplish anything and we currently have the results of many accomplishments.

1969 also gave us Woodstock. That was a concert of epic proportions! Can you imagine seeing all the top music acts of the day at one time and in one place? This was the time when, arguably, the best musical talent ever was in their heyday and they were all going to be there. I was obviously too young to go and, being influenced by my parents, the pictures I saw on TV were that of a group of weird hippies rolling around in the mud growing weirder with all the drugs… but the music! As I grew older, I saw Woodstock as more than that. They were trying to be ‘one’. They saw themselves dependent on each other and wanting to help each other.

So what does all this have to do with deTECH? Maybe not that much, but with all the comparisons in technology from then to now I couldn’t help but ask myself how far have we really come? In the view of those that landed on D-Day, I am sure we have grown as a global civilization, but have we grown closer? In the view of the Astronauts that landed on the Moon, I would think they would say we have grown in technology, but have lost the vision. The Woodstock goers have to think that their vision of a world of peace and love was never realized.

Technology is wonderful and it has created so many opportunities for us. If we could just use that technology to unite people, like all the events I have talked about, imagine what we could accomplish! ‘WE’ could go to Mars, ‘WE’ could clean up our planet, and ‘WE’ could take care of everyone in need. But it will take the ‘WE’ to decide we will do this. ‘WE’ need to stop letting social media and the 24-hour news divide us. Let’s use technology for the good and great things we can accomplish. The ‘WE’ that landed on the Moon was all of us doing little things to push us to the goal. Maybe, we could use the technologies we have at our fingertips today to do those little things to accomplish the next ultimate endeavor!


curtis-thompsonThroughout his time at YHB Curtis has provided IT audit and consulting to clients, even while holding the position of the firm’s IT director for several years. Now, as head of the YHB Risk Advisory Services Team, Curtis focuses on assisting organizations in a variety of industries with internal audits and IT-related audit and consulting services. Also, he frequently speaks and gives presentations on SOX compliance, internal controls, and data security.