I can remember where I was at 48 years ago this evening like it was yesterday. I was eight years old and since following the Apollo 7 mission I was fanatical about the Apollo Space Program. On the evening of July 20th, 1969 I went with my parents to visit family friends in a nearby town. That evening before we left we were all standing out in their yard looking up at the moon. I can remember my parents friend saying “Can you believe there are men up there!” We then went home to watch the first moon walk. I recall being impatient, the wait was getting to me. Then they did the moon walk- with Neil Armstrong uttering those famous words. I stayed up until the moonwalk was over and it was way past my normal bed time. Sending a man to the moon- the greatest achievement in the history of mankind? I was just a kid- with confidence- it never occurred to me at the time that they could fail. They not only got to the moon- they did come back safely.
Do we make it to the moon and back – as President Kennedy boasted that we would do in the early 1960’s- if he hadn’t been assassinated? His assassination I believe put an urgency to the mission- let’s do it for Jack. [Also beating the Soviets to the moon was an important element to it} I would have thought 48 years ago that by now we would have been to Mars and back. Instead we have only gone backwards. America and the world was fascinated by Apollo 11- but it didn’t take long for attention spans to lose focus. Before too long people were bored and that is a shame. Forty- Eight years ago today- one of those days in which everyone alive old enough to remember- remember where they were that day I am sure. Back when we accomplished great things.