On February 20,1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. He circled the globe three times in five hours, and his capsule Friendship 7 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean.
But it was the name of the capsule, the “Friendship 7” that intrigued me. I was curious as to why the name “Friendship” was the name that was chosen.
So I researched it a little and came up with this from John Glenn’s memoir:
Glenn said, "There's only one ground rule. The world is going to be watching, so the name should represent our country and the way we feel about the rest of the world." They opened a thesaurus and wrote dozens of names in a notebook. Then they worked them down to several possibilities, names and words including; Columbia, Endeavor, America, Magellan, We, Hope, Harmony, and Kindness. At the top of the list was their first choice: Friendship.”
And I felt almost taken aback reading some of the names that were considered: “We,” “Hope,” “Harmony” and “Kindness.” How wonderful that Glenn arrived at the word "Friendship." The impression that must have been made as the TV and radio announcers spoke its name: “There’s Friendship circling the globe. I think Friendship may be over China now. Oh, look, I think I can see Friendship in the sky!”
Our names are what makes us who we are. It’s what identifies us. When I hear the name of my child, I respond with the requisite emotion. Their names are attached to the notes of love played in my heart every time I hear them.
When I hear the names of my friends and family, these same tones resonate in my life. No matter where I am or how occupied I might be, the name of a friend or family member always sets forth a feeling of goodness within me.
I want us all to be associated with the names that represent the best in a person. I hope that when somebody speaks your name, the syllables are phrased in a melody of joy. Those names that mean something to us-from your favorite teacher, your best friend, and particularly the name “Mom” and “Dad,” offer you a feeling of happiness.
But most importantly, when you speak your own name, may you be confident that the sounds of each letter resonates the sounds of the best qualities found in any person. When another shear your name, may you know that it gives comfort and peace to the person hearing the words.
We have so many adjectives, so many names that identify goodness in this life. “Harmony,” “Friendship” and “Kindness” are three of dozens of names that underscore the best within us.
May your name, when it is spoken, inspire the same.