Fifty years ago today, Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first human ever to walk on the moon. Other crew members along for the ride were Edwin Aldrin, who also got the chance to bound over the moon’s surface, and Michael Collins, who stayed in the spacecraft doing experiments and taking photographs. (I’ve wondered how he felt, not having a chance to be as much of a household name; but in a recent interview he seemed content with his role in this historic event.)
Of course, they didn’t do it alone. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of NASA people backing them. As well as millions and millions of people around the world watching. I was one of them.
We lived in Madison Heights, Michigan, at the time; and our first son had been born ten months before. He had recently learned to sleep through the night; and, as any first-time parent can attest, this is also an historic occasion.
So I was glued to the bulky television with its black and white screen about the size of a standard piece of paper. It was just as exciting to watch as if it were on today’s IMAX. I crossed my fingers as Armstrong descended a ladder that could have doubled for one in my garage. I held my breath, collectively with every other person watching, as he claimed the visit for mankind. And I went to bed exhilarated, not only because I knew my son would sleep through it all but also because I didn’t.
Whoever dreamed that we would be celebrating this event fifty years later with interviews of the astronauts, showings of the original footage, and analysis beyond belief! And, this time my son who also turned fifty is old enough to be there with me.