Fifty years ago on Saturday, Neil Armstrong took a step into the history books, crossing the finishing line of the space race to the moon on July 20, 1969.
“Apollo 11 was about setting an ambitious goal before the world,” said Armstrong’s fellow Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, who became the second man to walk on the moon.
It’s a day and a feat that has lived in infamy. This year, celebrations of the moon landing have included an image of the Saturn V rocket projected onto the east face of the Washington Monument; the unveiling of Armstrong’s space suit at the National Air and Space Museum; and two new commemorative “Forever” stamps from the US Postal Service.
“It honors the accomplishments of Apollo 11,” said Steve Monteith of USPS, “but also it will be around forever and can be used forever.”
It’s impossible to quantify the true impact of that momentous accomplishment that captured the hearts, minds and imagination of the world.
“Nobody could believe that it was even happening,” said Nancy Horrigan of Stuart, Fla. “You look up at the moon, it seemed so far away.”
However, one thing is for sure. Armstrong was right: It was “one giant leap for mankind.”