... man walked on the moon.
"Man walked on the moon." Those words still amaze me today. Forty years ago... back when I was a young man of 24 years... the fact man walked on the moon was much more than amazing - it was spectacular, redeeming, inspiring... the list of superlatives goes on. But beyond this... it was American men who walked on the moon... two of 'em, in fact, on this July day 40 years ago. Thousands of Armstrong's and Aldrin's fellow American men and women pooled their talents and energies to accomplish this feat. The world watched in amazement and awe on July 20, 1969 as a Jules Verne fantasy came to life. This is the event that the phrase "you hadda be there" was coined for, little else comes close. It was a most significant accomplishment... and it was a most amazing time to be alive.
Further: I recommend Tom Wolfe's piece on NASA and the moon landings in the NYT if you haven't read it already. And the NYT's coverage of the anniversary in today's paper is quite good, as well.