"When I was the age of many of you, much was made about the fact that our country was in a "space race" with the Soviet Union. Today, a child who is 15 years old or younger has lived every day of her or his life while human beings from multiple countries are living and working together in space aboard the International Space Station. I maintain that the Space Station ought be considered for a Noble Peace Prize. Think about this: tens of thousands of people from across 15 countries have been involved in its construction and operations all working toward common goals of discovery, understanding, and human progress."
Keith's note:Comments (below) by James Van Laak are well worth reading when trying to understand how ISS got here - and where it came from i.e. Space Station Freedom.