I Bet I know What You Were Doing 51 Years Ago Today
It was July 20th, 1969 and the world was riveted to their TV sets watching what was once the unthinkable, a man walking on the moon. I was 15 years old in New York and was glued to the family TV set just like everyone around here was to KHQA or WGEM.
Our country was divided by war in Southeast Asia and in the midst of a "cold war" with the Soviets who we were trying to beat the United States in the space race as well. So when Neil Armstrong said "Houston, the Eagle has landed", it was like everyone on Earth, including the Soviets, was equally as excited for the accomplishment regardless of race, religion or politics.
Armstrong was an instant hero yet for the next 43 years he was basically a forgotten man until his death in 2012. Basically, anyone reading this under the age of 45 really didn't get to experience the thrill of what took place in 1969. Those over 45 can look up at the moon and remember that historic day like it was yesterday. Think about what Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins did. They left this planet and went to the moon and returned safely. Only 12 people have ever been on the lunar surface and only they knew or know what kind of an experience that was. They were members of Apollo 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17.
While Armstrong and Aldrin landed and walked on the moon, Collins stayed with the mother-ship and orbited the lunar surface. Everyone asked Armstrong and Aldrin how it felt to walk on the moon, but few have ever asked Collins what it must have felt like to be so close and not be able to touch the moon like his fellow astronauts did. That had to be difficult. It still sends chills up and down my spine just thinking about it.
In case you are wondering, why are we not going back to the moon again? Well, we are. NASA has plans to send the first woman ever and the next man to the moon by the year 2024. I will be glued to my viewing device when it happens.
Every time I look to the sky and see the moon I think about that incredible time and accomplishment. What a thrill it will be for those who never experienced it during the previous lunar missions.