Do you remember?
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Some things you just don't forget.
Apollo 11's mission was one of them. The Summer of '69 probably means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to the little kid that I was back then, there was nothing more important than Apollo's mission.
Even in France, it was the number 1 topic on the news, every day. We memorized the team's names "Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin." You may not think much of that but to a little kid that doesn't speak a word of English, those are difficult names.
At the time, I was out at camp somewhere in the French country side, with a bunch of other kids my age. There was no TV, so we didn't get to watch it live with the rest of the world. But when the radios announced that the team had successfully taken its first steps on the moon, everybody cheered. We were absolutely, positively *extatic.*
Just a couple of months before that, in May 69, we had been graced with the First Supersonic Plane's flight over Paris by special permission (no commercial plane ever flies over the City Paris, ever), and heard the supersonic "boom." And now, Mr. Armstrong had shown the whole world that you could accomplish the seemingly impossible.
That night, after dinner, I went out and looked at the moon for a very long time, hoping to see Mr. Armstrong walk around the spacecraft with his buddies. The adults in the camp tried to get me to understand that it was impossible to see, that I should go to bed, that I was wasting my time, but I stayed outside looking at the moon for the longest time trying.
After all, if a man could walk on the moon, perhaps little kids all over the world could really see them, if they tried hard enough.
Summer of '69 for me was the summer when I believed that dreams could come true.
How do you remember Apollo 11's mission? Or if it was before your time, do you think we should try it again? Go for the stars?
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National Geographic: Apollo 11 Facts, 40 years later