So many of us were kids when the Apollo program proved that humans could leave Earth and expand our horizon to worlds unknown. It was exciting to see these heroes — smart, brave and daring — risk everything to explore another world. Of course, as kids, we had no idea of the Cold War implications or that 4% of the nation’s GDP was being spent on the effort to get us to the Moon before the decade was done. But the motivation didn’t really matter as we all held out breaths, hoping that they’d make it to the Moon and back.

I don’t know exactly what I was doing 40 years ago today, probably annoying my Mom a month into summer vacation. What were you doing? Did it make you want to be an astronaut — or at least play astronaut on the monkey bars* in the playground? I hope tonight is clear so that we can all look up at the Moon and imagine that we can see Apollo 11, just as I did back then.

NASA image, public domain.

*Monkey bars are also know as jungle gyms or climbing frames — the collection of uprights and cross bars at the playground that kids climb around on. Ours was, at various times, the Starship Enterprise, the Bat Cave or an Apollo capsule. Good times.