There are few things in my life that I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when history was formed. I distinctly remember the details surrounding the Challenger explosion and, of course, 9/11. And as the event of Apollo 11 unfolded, I am able recall those special details that served to lock this amazing event into my memory.
My family had been following the Apollo launches faithfully. So the evening we all watched the Lunar Landing and walk on the moon. I sat spellbound in the living room with my Dad, Mom and younger sister, engrossed in everything that happened. I had no fear for the astronauts because my parents were there and equally interested. That was a warm and comfortable feeling.
It was fascinating to see the detail that the men adhered to as they prepared to step from the Lunar module. The moments dragged. And then....the first astronaut appeared and cautiously stepped down onto the surface of the moon. The other astronaut soon followed. They were awe-stuck - one could tell. I remember them kicking the sandy-like soil, (and one of them picking up some of the soil with his gloved hand and letting it sift through his fingers), then both of them gave little jumps in the air. It was amazing to see them give attention to the area around the module. A careful look was given toward the dark side of the moon, which was visible near the edge of their view. They knew a person would freeze to death on that dark side, but it was fascinating to see how bright the light was around the astronauts, and how there was almost a visible line at the level of the darkness. There seemed to be no fade line - it was either dark or it was light.
I remember when the flag came out and the two astronauts together made the decision for the spot the flag would be planted.
What a thrilling, yet humbling, feeling when the flag pole sunk into the ground and stood steady when the astronaut released the pole. There was a hush in the room as he uttered the now-famous line, "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." He spoke the words quietly, as though he were absorbing this event even as he spoke the words. I felt his words were inspired.
I'm grateful I remember this historical event and the details surrounding it.