Today, a unique event will be taking place across the U.S.: The Great American Eclipse.
It is called such because the total solar eclipse will be visible throughout the day but only in the continental United States, from Oregon to South Carolina, which has not happened in over 90 years.
It is also unique because the close proximity of the moon to the Earth will provide everyone and everything within the "path of totality" the opportunity to experience complete darkness at the time of the total eclipse and a glimpse at the sun's gorgeous solar corona.
And while it will most likely be the most watched eclipse in history, we should not allow today's ubiquitous online coverage by live social-media feeds to sterilize the experience.
This is a rare and unique event, something so special as to be called spiritual by many who have had the opportunity to see them before. It should be a time of celebration and humble reflection.
Maybe the profundity can best be demonstrated by the reactions from the last time an eclipse touched the continental U.S. in 1979, passing over Oregon and Montana. It was covered live on ABC.
With people strategically positioning themselves in the path of the total eclipse--in areas notorious for the lack of clear skies--commentators got lucky with a crack in the clouds, a clear line of sight, and the full impact of the eclipse.
You could hear the cheering from nearby spectators as they filmed live, and you could feel the palpable emotion and awe in the voice of ABC correspondent Frank Reynolds, located over 2,100 miles away in a New York television studio, as he admired the eclipse through video technology 38 years older than what we have today.
"So that's it, the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century," Reynolds said as he concluded his special broadcast. "Not until August 21, 2017, will another eclipse be viewable from North America. That's 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world of peace."
The world most certainly is not at peace right now, but hopefully we can use this event to share in the same awe-inspired amazement and wonderment that the last generation to witness an eclipse experienced--even if for a short, beautiful moment.