July 20, 1969. “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Man walked on the moon for the first time. Many are too young and were not around when the historical milestone occurred but for others the day stands out as a moment in history that made America the leader in the space race.
The first astronaut to step onto the moon was Neil Armstrong who died in 2012 at age 82. His companion astronaut was Buzz Aldrin, now 84. Michael Collins, now 83, manned the spaceship while Armstrong and Aldrin participated in the space walk. Both will be at Kennedy Space Center Monday for a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary.
Aldrin asked the question, “Where were you?” because, as he said on his video, he was out of town when it happened (see Buzz Aldrin: Where were you when I walked on moon?):
“I consider myself a global statesman for space,” Aldrin says in a YouTube video. “So I spend most of my time traveling the country and the world to remind people what NASA and our space program have accomplished, and what is still in our future at Mars. I feel we need to remind the world about the Apollo missions and that we can still do impossible things.
“The whole world celebrated our moon landing. But we missed the whole thing because we were out of town. So now I invite you to share with me — and the world — your story or your family’s story of where you were on July 20th, 1969. Or feel free to tell me how the Apollo missions inspired you.”
Responses have poured in from around the world. Some are names we recognize — actors Tom Hanks, John Travolta, Louis Gossett, and Tim Allen … singers Pharrell Williams and Bryan Adams … London Mayor Boris Johnson, chef Wolfgang Puck, Senator Marco Rubio, sportscaster Vin Scully, TV host Stephen Colbert, first American woman to walk in space Kathy Sullivan — and other are scientists, public figures, and everyday people like you and me.
Aldrin, who reportedly kept the stories in a black notebook in the past, is now using social media to record them: @TheRealBuzz on Twitter and Facebook. Share your story using #Apollo45 and become part of history.
July 20, 1969 … a day that will live on in American history.