The Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary, July 16th, 1969

Honoring the technology, but more importantly the courage, bravery and personal and collective sacrifices made by our Astronauts, who proved to be men of extraordinary caliber….

July 16, 1969
Launch and flight to lunar orbit

The Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle lifts off with Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. at 9:32 a.m. EDT July 16, 1969, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.

Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon’s surface. After a rest period that included seven hours of sleep, the ascent stage engine fired at 124 hours, 22 minutes
For me personally, this virtually world changing event coincided with a very special time in my own young life.  I was training as a Heart Lung Technician at a Children’s hospital in Sydney, Australia, while I took night classes after a hard day’s work at a nearby University.  Higher education held more opportunities and prospects and I had plans.  Don’t we all?  That day when the clock stopped and all activity within the hospital walls ceased it seemed and had come to an abrupt halt, we watched with heightened fascination and tears in our eyes, as we witnessed this very momentous event on black and white television unfold.   Several TVs had been installed in different parts of the hospital and watching it in  black and white made the detail very distorted, nevertheless did not detract from its surreal magic.
Now reliving the occasion on this commemorative day in July of 2019 five decades on, still seems surreal but in my mind’s eye again brought back tears, not only for the courage shown by these Astronauts and the importance of their personal sacrifices made, which must never be undermined, but also where my own personal  life was juxtaposed against that time period when I found myself at such a still young age with many aspirations of my own.  Today, I hardly recognize the person I have changed into almost in a Metamorphosis-like fashion.  I owe my transformation from a naive young girl into a wiser and hopefully more experienced older woman, wife, mother and Grandmother and step great Grandmother, to my beautiful husband, whose own identity kind of rubbed off on me in its powerful and all-encompassing totality; as it can do with couples that shared 47 years of married bliss, and which I will carry with me with great pride in my heart until my last breath.  All the while he keeps vigil and watches over us from his new position in his altered state of Universal Consciousness Awareness and  ‘being of light’, awaiting our imminent reunion.
Nostalgia, always a guaranteed constant, maintains its fascination as we recall  our lifetime’s positive memories, and this event still brings shivers of awe and excitement down my spine as we all remember and celebrate this amazing period in our human history.  A time when the world was still fairly well shrouded in an atmosphere of possibilities and grand hopes for mankind’s continued evolution toward a better world, but as time has proven once again, I can only sadly state that indeed history always seems to repeat itself for all the worst and most perverted reasons, as we found ourselves well and truly embroiled into a new conflict – the shameful Vietnam War.
Be sure to watch it.  It is a poignant reminder of what we ought not to do or ever repeat!
Today however, we are facing a totally different world environment and its challenges, offering our younger generations such diverse opportunities but which are showing to come at an enormously punishing cost.  Our advancing progression in all areas of science and technology, social justice awareness and medical advances,  inventions and interventions with a view to curing all prevalent and common diseases plaguing mankind today, we’re still failing in many areas of life.  Despite our attempts and aspirations to cultivate a more heightened ‘Universal Consciousness Awareness’ for the striving toward and the promoting of Love, Peace and Unity not only on our delicately balanced planet but throughout the Cosmos is already taking place to a degree.  However, the reality is that the attainment to that bliss may seem elusive still to many, along with all the uncertainties and insecurities and evil incarnate mankind is still facing today, and as we stumble, wobble and transition into an uncertain future as a Race.
Emerantia Parnall-Gilbert