I wasn’t alive to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I don’t actually even remember the moment when I first saw footage of his ‘giant leap’. But I’ll remember where I was when I heard the original moonwalker had died. Sitting on a balcony at a hotel, staring up at the stars, wearing a t shirt with a picture of an Apollo astronaut on.
Apollo was what it was, a phenomenal human achievement wrapped up in an attempt to show an enemy who’s boss. But the raw human story of three of our kind hurtling away from us at speeds to high to comprehend to plant a flag on a desolate piece of rock we all take for grated is one that touched the world and will be told throughout human history.
I have never met an Apollo astronaut, I’m unlikely to pay the hundreds of pounds for a ticket to one of their numerous speaking events. But I hope one day I can visit the Apollo 11 memorial park, nestled in that far corner of the sea of tranquility and take my children’s children to touch the box keeping that famous footprint safe.
There was a half moon above the balcony where I wrote this post, but a moon that tonight reminds us all what can be achieved if we put our minds to it.