The Last Shuttle Launch One giant leap backwards.

My seven-year-old son, Cliff, watched the last space shuttle launch from the NASA viewing stands at the Kennedy Space Center. He had a spiritual experience of a kind that no amount of dragging him to Mass or even Fenway Park has inspired. His little face​—​seemingly made up entirely of open eyes​—​announced it: “This is awe!” He didn’t need to say anything and, having forgotten to breathe, he probably couldn’t. Indeed, for the first waking moment in his 89 months on earth, he was silent.

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