July 20, 1969

I’ll never forget that summer. After a whirlwind romance, my boyfriend had asked me to marry him and we were busy planning our October wedding. And of course, we spent every moment together. Otherwise I might missed it altogether. He was in the Air National Guard and was fascinated with anything to do with flying and/or space travel. So when he found out they were going to broadcast the landing on the moon on television, we had to watch.

So there we were, sitting in my parents family room, watching their black and white twenty-something inch television that didn’t get very good reception. To be honest, the whole space thing didn’t mean that much to me. But I knew it did to him. And, I was just happy that we were spending time together. So we watched.

On 10:56 p.m. ET on July 20, 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped off that ladder and planted his left foot on the moon. Then, he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Suddenly, I understood. Mankind had taken a giant step toward the future. We’d gone where no man had gone before. And I cried.

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