It was July 20th, 1969 when those words were spoken by Neil Armstrong as he first laid his foot upon the Moon's surface. Any of us that were old enough remember exactly where we were when mankind first stepped foot upon a world that was not Earth.
In my case my family and I were in the living room of my grandmother's beach house in Madison, Connecticut, watching the grainy black and white video from the Moon on her huge 25” color console TV.
On that day we were supposed to have been on our way back home to southeastern Pennsylvania, where we were living at the time. But because we weren't sure when the two American astronauts were supposed to leave the LEM and venture out onto the Moon's surface, we'd left Madison, figuring we'd be home before they did. But we weren't more then 20 minutes from the beach house when we heard they'd be exiting the LEM within the hour. So my father turned our behemoth of a 1966 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon around and headed back to Madison.
The anticipation as we sat in front of the TV made all of us a little jumpy.
I remember Armstrong slowly descending the ladder on the LEM's landing gear, a hop down from the bottom rung to the circular foot resting on the lunar soil, and then back up to make sure both he and Buzz Aldrin would be able to make it safely from the foot of the landing gear back up to the ladder. Once that task was completed, we could see him take a careful step off of the landing gear and onto the moon. And then he said the words.
“That's one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.”At that moment we weren't just Americans. Nor were the Russians just Russians or the Chinese just Chinese. At that moment we were all just humans, citizens of Earth.