Sunday, 30 August 2009

A small step for (a) man

Anniversaries seem to be taking up some of my time lately, what with the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the 50th anniversary of the Time Out album. Here's another one and I know that I am 40 days late in writing something about it. Had meant to do it earlier BUT was distracted by other things. Anyway, here is my take on the 40th anniversary commemoration of the Apollo 11 moonlanding. I never got to see it happen live. If I remember correctly, I had to buy a cinema ticket to see a documentary on this historic event. Well, the Moon Goddess and the Rabbit-On-The-Moon never seemed the same again after Armstrong and Aldrin kicked dust on the moon way back on 20 July 1969.

And here is a picture of Edwin Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong with United States president Obama who praised the trio for their "heroism, calm under pressure" and "grace." Possibly, this could be the last time we'll ever see the three of them together again.

"I think that all of us recall the moment in which mankind finally was untethered from this planet and was able to explore the stars, when one of our own step on the moon and leave that imprint that is there to this day," the president said. "As a boy living in Hawaii, I would perch on my grandfather's shoulders and watch the space capsules land in the Pacific Ocean. We'd go out and pretend like they could see us as we were waving at folks coming home," he said. "They inspired an entire generation of scientists and engineers."

Finally, this was the publicity shot from 1969. People never knew whether they could make it back home to earth alive. According to Collins, he considered their chances at 50-50 only. So it was a great risk they took and they came away as heroes, perhaps the greatest heroes in the history of civilisation.

And where was I when all this happened? In school, of course! Listening to the historic moon walk live over the public address system during Physics class.

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