|Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin steps down the ladder to become the second man to walk on the moon. [Photo taken by Neil Armstrong]|
The moment that Neil Armstrong spoke the words "one small step..." I knew that this would be one of those indelible moments you would always remember. Just a few months earlier I had purchased my first color TV, however the fact that the images from the moon were grainy and black/white did not matter. Try to think of another time when the entire world witnessed history unfold real-time.
|Walter Cronkite speechless |
The Lunar Landing (CBS News)
About ten years later I was at a friend's home in Palm Beach and after dinner, he asks would we like to see some slides from his vacation. I said please as he got out the old Kodak carousel projector and I set up the screen in his den. Even the kids stop playing and came to watch. This was not a typical vacation slide show. Dr. Edgar Mitchell was showing us photos he took on the moon during Apollo 14. He was telling us points you would only hear from someone that was there. Like moon dust was everywhere and got into everything. Ed was a very interesting man. He passed in 2016 on the 45 anniversary of his lunar landing.
For a while so many of life's imponderables and difficult project were punctuated with, "Well, we were able to send a man to the moon.." - A time when nothing seemed impossible. As we looked back on that momentous event of now 50 years ago, let's return to a time when everything seemed possible.
The Tampa Bay Tribune in a recent article put some of the irony of what has transcribe since in prospective. "We went to the moon and discovered something about ourselves":
Of the estimated 109 billion humans who have ever lived across the tens of thousands of years — and most of them assuredly have gazed at the moon in wonder — only 12 have ever walked there. And none have done so in generations. Right now, the United States can’t even send astronauts into space on its own, relying for the time being on the Russians to transport them [astronauts] to the International Space Station.
...And if you need a reminder, peek at the moon, and remember how the moon missions taught us to look up. Neil Armstrong’s footprints could well outlast humankind itself and are a testament, as the lunar plaque says, that “We came in peace for all mankind.”