Before I begin I would be very remise not to acknowledge – It was a very sad note to hear that Walter Cronkite passed away over the weekend. The space program, as well as the world, has lost a true gentleman of intellect, a voice or reason and a pillar of grace. We stood next to him during some of the most trouble times and triumphs of our generation and history. How ironic that his passing would come 3 days before one of his most distinguishing days. And that’s the way it is …. He will be missed.
Where were you??? Forty years ago today, I sat in front of a small black and white TV with by best friend, Brian, hanging on to every word that Walter Cronkite spoke. Waiting anxiously for any confirmation that we had landed a man on the moon and then the words finally came from Commander Neil Armstrong ….. “Houston, Tranquility Base here … the Eagle Has Landed!” And as time passed, ….. “That’s one small step for Man, that’s one giant leap for Mankind!” (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/40th/index.html). How elated I was, how mesmerized to see the images and how proud I was to be an American.
Never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine at the young age of 16, that one day I would share in the rich history of being part of the space program. But for 25 years … I shared the dream and documented if for future generations. Three of my most prized memories of those years … meeting and photographing Neil Armstrong, Walter Cronkite and John Glenn … all heroes in my mind, all icons of the space program and such an honor to be in their presence.
To this day, the words of President Kennedy ring ever so loud: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” – (http://www.jfklibrary.org)
On this day -; the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing – what better tribute to all the men and women (as well as Walter Cronkite) who were part of the space race than the Saturn Rocket display that stands tall and proud at the US Space and Rocket Center and to the real deal housed in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Al. (http://www.spacecamp.com/)
To those that dared live the dream so we all could dream … I salute you !!!!!!
If you have an upcoming photographic requirement, give me a ring.
Best regards … ~ dK ~