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The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a global event. Please share your thoughts with us regarding this remarkable event.
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!