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The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a global event. Please share your thoughts with us regarding this remarkable event.
Forrest K Dubruyne Jr.
It's easy to remember the July 20, 1969 date for me. It was my fathers 50th birthday, and he was very proud of that. On his 25th birthday in 1944 the German generals made their last assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler. I was eighteen and had just graduated from high school. I had been at the beach on Dauphin Island Alabama when the LEM had landed. A guy sitting in his car suddenly started hollering "we're on the moon". That night my family sat around the black and white set to watch the steps on the surface. Naturally we listened to Walter Cronkite. My six year old sister was sleepy and not pleased that my parents made her stay up. We did exactly what the entire world was doing.
SHERYL M (REINKE) CARTER
The Apollo 11 moon landing is one day in my life I'll never forget. It was my 18th birthday. Surrounded by extended family who came to help celebrate my birthday, we were all glued to the TV as this historic event unfolded. Home made ice cream and cake waited while we tried to fathom the magnitude of what was happening.
In the UK the landing was on the Sunday evening. I was 7 so perhaps I had already gone to bed; certainly I don't remember seeing it live. The following day at school I do remember being taken into the school hall with every other child and we all sat cross legged on the floor to watch a repeat of the landing and Neil Armstrong stepping onto the lunar surface. People say "it blew my mind" far too often to describe the most mundane things these days. But honestly, that event did, it made me and quite a few others cry. Still brings a tear to my eye.
As an 8-year old in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK my mother woke me at an ungodly hour to watch Mr Armstrong and Dr Aldrin walk on the moon. It must have been around 2am or so. I think I was excited, but maybe that's because I was watching TV in the middle of the night - Our TV programmes usually ended at around midnight with the National Anthem and a strict instruction to make sure the TV was properly turned off...Around 40 years later I visited the Cape, seeing the Saturn 5 was the nearest I ever got to a religious experience.
On July 20, 1969, I was outside playing baseball when my father comes out of the house and tells me to "get in this house and watch the T.V.!" At seven years of age I asked him why? He said to me "because history is about to be made and you need to be a part of it." I reluctantly put the baseball and the bat down and went into the living room where the big console T.V. was. I saw the CBS broadcast with Walter Cronkite telling us that Neil Armstrong was about to walk on the moon. I saw the now famous broadcast when Neil stepped off the ladder of the lunar module and made his "One small step" statement and hearing Cronkite repeating Neil Armstrong's statement. I remember being frozen in place as this was going on. I will never forget the reaction of Walter Cronkite being speechless himself and having to wipe away his tears on camera. I think the entire country must have shed a tear or two with Walter Cronkite! I have been a teacher in Springtown, Texas for the past 32 years. Currently I teach technology and the space program is an anchor for many of my lessons in technology. Even today when I show the video of that broadcast, I still get teary-eyed along with Walter Cronkite!
At the time of the Apollo missions, communications and communication networks were not as developed as they are today. At the time, I lived in very rural part of upstate New York where there were even less communication networks than in the rest of the country. My brother in law, married to the second oldest sister in the family, was at that time the chief of the local fire department. He had setup a small but well built and designed ham radio network to help support the local fire department. I always remember going to their house and seeing this (what I thought) was a huge radio tower in their back yard. During the Apollo missions, NASA contacted my brother-in-law asking if they could use his equipment as a back-up communication system in case it was needed during these missions.
The whole family would congregate at their house to watch on TV, as most did at the time I'm sure, but we had the added dimension of listening in the back-ground through the ham radio equipment the actual conversations in real time between NASA and the astronauts, while watching the broadcast on the TV.
This was almost a magical experience and instilled in me a love of space exploration, NASA, and all that's associated with these programs that has lasted my whole life.
I remember when there were no onboard space ship cameras streaming to the public. I sat on the floor with my family wondering why we stared at the "tube" forEVER at the most boring cartoons on the planet. (Oh yeah, "animations" of Apollo 11.) Now we just click on YouTube and watch space flight in real time. It's a wonderful world!