The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: This essay was posted originally on July 20, 2010, then reposted on July 20, 2011, to celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. It seems fitting to post it again, on this, the 51st anniversary of that landing.
A flag in the dust
Today, July 20th, is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, the first time ever that a human being arrived on another planet. Americans love to celebrate this event, as it symbolizes one of the finest moments in our history, when we set out to achieve something truly great and noble and succeeded far better than we could have imagined. Not only did we get to the Moon as promised, over the next three and a half years we sent another five missions, each with increasingly sophisticated equipment, each sent to explore some increasingly alien terrain. Forty-plus years later, no one has come close to matching this achievement, a fact that emphasizes how difficult it was for the United States to accomplish it.
There is one small but very important detail about the Apollo 11 mission, however, that most Americans are unaware of. » Read more