July 20th.

It has been customary for me to open posts on this blog with a quote, followed by my own thoughts on whatever that post deals with. This time, however, I will do something different. The majority of this blog post will be a quote of a brief passage written by Mr. Shane Johnson as an introduction to Volume 2 of the Star Wars Technical Journal, in May 1994. I now offer Mr. Johnson’s very eloquent words on the matter of July 20th without further comment:

July 20. That date means little to anyone anymore, it seems. The day usually passes each year with the obligatory casual mention at the end of the evening newscast, but the average person on the street–even if that person is a dedicated fan of Star Wars or other science fiction–seldom remembers the vast significance of that summer day.

“At the time, it was said that the event of July 20 would forever be the crowning achievement of human science, a proof that nothing man set out to do would be impossible for him. It was said that every other date in history would be but a footnote by comparison.

“It was a simple thing, really. One man, bracing himself against a fragile, hollow aluminum ladder, turned a little to his left, reached out with one foot, and took a step.

“A small step–but at the same time, a giant leap.

“This July 20, please go outside on that summer evening. Listen to the rustle of the trees. Feel the warm, gentle breezes that only your home planet knows, and look up at a world that has never known them.

“Look up at the Moon.

“And remember, if only for a moment, that [42] years ago we were there.”

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