To the editor,
Saturday, July 20, marks the 50th anniversary of what I consider mankind’s greatest achievement and perhaps my proudest moment as an American and as a citizen of Earth.
It was 1969. The Vietnam War not going well for the United States and not only the United States but the world needed a reason to cheer and a reason to unite. The citizens of Earth needed good news instead of news about the horrors of war.
On July 20, 1969, I was 11 years old and at a youth camp on the shores of Lake Tobiason near Hatton, N.D. It was after lights-out (10 p.m. or so) and everyone was supposed to get to sleep. We slept on bunks or bunk beds in our sleeping bags in a dormitory type of a cabin. There were maybe a dozen of us in one big room. I'd brought a small transistor radio to camp that I held up to my ear with the volume low and covers over my head to muffle the sound so that I could listen to the broadcast. Unfortunately, my earpiece was broken.
Anyway, I was a space junkie and used to set an alarm so that I could wake up in the middle of the night just to watch the Apollo launches on a black-and-white television. I was definitely not going to miss the highlight of it all, the broadcast of the first moon walk.
Well, along with us campers was a counselor. I hadn't listened very long when I heard a loud voice say "Either turn that thing off or turn it up so that we can all listen." Needless to say, I turned it up and we all laid there and listened to the broadcast of Neil Armstrong's first moon walk on that little transistor radio. It was magical and it was wonderful.
For a brief moment, the citizens of Earth regardless of race, color, creed or nationality were one.
Neil Armstrong walking on the moon gave us all something that we badly needed. It gave not only us campers and the counselor in that cabin but the whole world a reason to cheer.
I’ll never forget that moment.
East Grand Forks