It was the summer holidays and we were visiting my grandparents. It was warm and giddy, and there was a rippling excitement at the thought of a man landing on the Moon.
No one actually doubted it, but then, no one was really sure it would happen. All we knew was that somewhere above our heads a rocket was hurtling its crew towards their fateful destination.
It was to be shown live on TV. The time difference meant it that the landing was set for the wee small hours of our morning. That night we bought cones from the ice cream man, who still claimed the Moon was made of cheese and the mice would see these astronauts off. He meant well, but I was 7, and didn’t believe him.
Later, sleepily awake, we sat huddled on the sofa, a flickering black and white picture, that suddenly burst with the pock-marked surface of the Moon. It was unbelievable. It was fantastic. And as the Lunar Module Eagle landed, I wondered how this would change our lives? For it seemed to me then that we had gone in search of dreams and had only discovered a rock.
But I was wrong. This was only the beginning.
As the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was a hero. More, his actions had a greater significance: they cut away the hold of superstition and ignorance from controlling our destiny.
The Moon landing changed this, and we were at last able to begin our examination of the Universe.
R.I.P. Neil Alden Armstrong 1930-2012
Via Spacecraft Films