“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for Mankind”
One giant has passed away. The first man who stepped on the moon, and who uttered the above words as he landed on the lunar surface, is a hero of mankind.
Our generation of baby boomers was lucky to be born at that time. Not many generations of men had actually witnessed a watershed event during their lifetime, in the evolution of mankind, such as Neil Armstrong’s feat of being first man on the moon.
It is a feat no lesser than that of any other epoch-changing human achievement.
We may forget who was the president at that time ( was it Nixon?) or who was the second person who stepped on the moon after Neil (Aldrin?), but we would not forget the person who represented the giant leap of our species.
At that time, in 1969, I was just a teenager, and we did not have all the gadgets of the modern generation (try explaining that to our children and they would be thinking how these old fella live without handphones or computer?), and the only things that would enble me to keep up with the news were either the semiconductor radio, or the bulky box with four legs attached sitting in front of one wall in the living room, and that was our TV at that time. Despite the bulk, the box was only capable of displaying black and white movies and news.
I remembered our parents watched together with us the footage of Neil walking on moon, and despite the blurred image, it was something that made all of us stare in awe and spellbound.
Neil Armstrong has forever been etched in my mind as an epitome of heroism and adventurism.
I remember Life ( or was it Time?)magazine had an issue which used the image of earth as viewed from space as its cover. A small but beautiful sphere hanging in the vast darkness. How small we are indeed, the human being, and that was the moment I wonder why human should quarrel over small and trifle issues, and be divided into nations which are constantly fighting and squabbling over small issues all throughout history, when the whole human kind should be united and stand together to explore our surroundings and tackle issues that may threaten our survival.
In his walk, even if he was wearing the insignia of the United States, he represented not just US, but the whole mankind.
His passing is thus a great loss to mankind, and on a more personal note, it reminds my generation how vulnerable we are, and that we should treasure our remaining time in this world to do something useful and fruitful..A small step, the historic moment