“The Eagle Has Landed…”
I remember the chill those words brought to me this day in 1969. I was just a few months from my twentieth birthday. Science fiction had been a big part of my young life at that point, firing my imagination in all manner of ways. On this day, there was only the original Star Trek series, three years of a canceled show. A personal favorite, I was there for the very first broadcast.
That and all the fiction I had read was coming to life before my very eyes. I so very much wanted to be there as Apollo 11 circled the Moon, the landing craft, EAGLE, dropping to the moon’s surface. When Armstrong first, then Aldrin stepped onto the Moon’s surface, I would loved to have been the third man. Heck, I’d even been thrilled to be Michael Collins back on Apollo 11.
I remember discussions among friends and co-workers that summer. Most of them weren’t interested in being on board, something I didn’t get. Only one other expressed the same desires I did.
And in the years since, Most of the country has gotten pretty blase about the Space Program. Even back then, by the time of Apollo 13, it was no longer getting the coverage on television. It took the drama of possible loss of life to get a rise from people.
I didn’t understand it then or now. I still get that thrill with very shuttle launch.
Forty-two years ago today, America completed President John F. Kennedy’s stated desire to beat Russia to the Moon. Only a few more times and we quit. A mistake I think.
The link below contain Kennedy’s speech on the subject.