I remember the flickering television screen on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong first uttered those famous words, "One small step . . . "
It was an awe-inspiring sight, even on that old 12-inch screen in black and white. To think the United States had actually put a man on the moon and planted the American flag on alien soil. Even as a young child I knew it was something special.
President John F. Kennedy told the world the U.S. would do exactly that before the 60s came to an end. Look what happens when you dream large.
Less than six years after Kennedy's assassination, his dream was realized. It was as though anything were possible.
Neil Armstrong, All-American Hero, gave us all a sense of achievement. This is what we can do when we work together. That message means more today than ever.
Armstrong, who died Saturday at the age of 82, helped end the turbulent 60s on a better note than it otherwise would have been remembered.
The Vietnam Conflict (it was never a declared war) was still raging, the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago was still fresh in our minds, the world lost Martin Luther King and two Kennedy brothers and Woodstock was still weeks away.
The country became divided, with civil rights and equality taking center stage. Blacks and whites joined together for a common cause and there's still a rift between the races.
Poll taxes and other impediments were outlawed, giving every voter a chance to express themselves without fear of retribution, discrimination or intimidation.
Watergate, the secret tapes and secret wars were threatening to tear down the country.
Yet for several glorious days, Neil Armstrong helped us forget everything and to focus on one single goal. Together, we can. See what one man can do.
It was a moment of pure joy, love if you will, that embodied all of humanity. The simple, unselfish act of stepping off the ladder on some far away terrain made for a time of bliss and celebration.
It felt good to be alive. It felt right. It was one large leap for mankind.
Bless you Neil Armstrong.