Saturday, July 20, 2019

Fifty Years On

"That's one small step for a man...."
Aw, hell! You know the rest of it!
Armstrong, Collins and Aldren
Although only ten, I can remember that bedtime had been postponed for the evening; my father was not about to have any of his kids miss this milestone event - the most historical moment of the millennium. I can vividly recall looking out the window at the moon, which was a mere crescent in the sky, while simultaneously listening to the transmissions of two human voices that were being relayed from the Sea of Tranquility. The wonder of the entire event was almost too much to comprehend. We all waited, late into the night, for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren to step foot on the surface of the moon. The summer of 1969 was an incredible time to live.

Walter Cronkite once remarked that, five-hundred years into the future, all of the momentous events of the momentous twentieth century will be viewed by historians as mere footnotes to the moon landing  of July 20, 1969, fifty years ago tonight. He probably wasn't too far off the mark. We are as removed from that moment as those who witnessed it were removed from the year 1919. The fact that a half century has gone by between that moment and this defies belief. As divided as America was at that time, the entire country - indeed the entire planet - came together united. It was a very different world.

Despite the volatile times, those were wonderful days to be an American. A very different world indeed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to watch CBS News coverage of that historic moment. The anchor is, of course, Cronkite:

Wasn't that a time?


At 3:42 PM, Blogger Ed said...

I too was ten years-old when I watched the first manned moon landing. I'm more amazed at the feat now than I was as a kid.


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