Editorial: Remembering mankind’s giant leap

Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:29 PM

In a multiple channel, multiple device age, our choices for what to do this weekend are extraordinary. And that’s without even leaving the couch.

But please do anyway. We’ve got a small suggestion for Sunday.

Sit back and remember the day from 45 years ago. Or, if a bit younger and not yet born at the time, dig into the history and realize what the older generation was buzzing about then — and still marvels at today.

Given what has transpired since, it is understandable if the youngsters can’t imagine. Those who saw could only imagine and dream when it happened.

Neil Armstrong put his feet on the moon in the summer of 1969. That July 20 day was a climax in the race to space, an historic moment once thought unattainable — perhaps like the day anyone could be anywhere and be reached by phone or carry a pocket-size computer with a world of information a click away.

Our three television channels carried riveting information and entertainment as we watched him. Think a lot of people watch the Super Bowl or the recent World Cup? An estimated one-fifth of the world was watching then.

Television was so new and, to be honest, not fully understood that conspiracy theories had Armstrong in a studio.

No, he was right where John F. Kennedy said we’d be. Armstrong always said he was a nerdy engineer just doing his job. That’s all, really nothing more and certainly nothing less.

After we watched him, we stepped out into a hot summer night and looked skyward trying to put our thoughts together. All ages, all imaginations — just trying to comprehend.

We share the request of Armstrong’s family from August 2012, when he died at 82, as an encouragement for not only Sunday but also throughout our lifetimes: “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”