Monday, July 20, 2009

Man On The Moon!

"Man on the moon!"
Those were the words from Walter Cronkite 40 years ago today as America's historic lunar landing was broadcast to the world.
Many newspapers the next day ran headlines with those exact same words.
But my favorite headline was "Footsteps On The Moon!"
Nobody had to say whose footsteps they were.
They were Neil Armstrong's footsteps. They were American footsteps on the moon.
"That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said as he stepped foot on the moon's surface. And yes, he did say "a man" and not simply "man." Both Armstrong and a careful listen to enhanced recordings of his words verify this.
The world watched, mesmerized.
America had done it again.
We kept John F. Kennedy's promise. We landed on the moon by the end of the 1960s - a decade with enough news to fill 30 or 40 years.
Our pioneering spirit surged again.
Yes, we knew we were living through historic, thrilling, challenging, even uproarious times.
It was an Age of Upheaval.
But for that one moment all was well. The Eagle had landed.
And yes, it really was Tranquility Base.
Not just up there on the moon but all over America.
We were united. We were grateful. We had nothing to apologize for and plenty to be proud of.
It didn't matter what anyone else thought of us. We knew who we were and what we had accomplished. In a snapshot, the future looked bright.
Right there, right then, we were one!

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