When I was a little girl, my brothers used to point up towards the night sky and ask me if I could see the Man in the Moon. For the longest time, I could not see him and then one day -- there he was. I remember where I was the first time I saw the Man in the Moon. I couldn't figure out how he got there, and I wondered if he might be lonely, all the way up there in the night sky, in the dark. I felt as if he were gazing down upon Earth, wishing he could join us, watching us with our families and friends, while he was all alone.
I had that same feeling when Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon 40 years ago today. What if they are stuck there? What if they can't come back? Will we see them gazing down at Earth in longing and loneliness? I think everyone collectively held their breath until the "Eagle" ascended back up to rejoin "Columbia", to journey home to Earth.
What an amazing feat that was (no pun intended) to leave the footprint of man on the surface of the moon. They also left a plaque inscribed, "Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind." Perhaps future generations will use the Moon as a rest stop on their way to other planets, Mars perhaps. The idea of man going to Mars fascinates me. Some day a human child will be born on Mars, and he will be the first Martian. If he visits Earth, the planet of his ancestors, he will truly be the first Martian to visit Earth.
"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."