Small Steps, Giant Leaps In Haiku: Neil Armstrong

Small Steps, Giant Leaps In Haiku: Neil Armstrong

"One small step for man
One giant leap for mankind"
Is that was he said?

You've undoubtedly heard the news that Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon, died today at 82 after undergoing heart-bypass surgery earlier this month.

The haiku above includes the famous words uttered by Armstrong as he jumped off the last step of the ladder of the Lunar Module - at least that's the way they are often reported in the media.

But the transmission was filled with static, and Armstrong insists he said (or at least meant to say), "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Wikipedia has a bracketed [a] in their account, and snopes.com says it's "True" that Armstrong flubbed his famous first words from the moon.

Although I like that the commonly understood quote fits in haiku, I think the version Armstrong claims is the correct one has a more significant meaning.

I remember watching the July, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing and Neil Armstrong's first step live one TV, and going downtown with a friend to watch the parade and rally (at what was then called the Civic Center Plaza) when Armstrong, Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins visited Chicago in August. That was a long time ago, but the video is still thrilling to watch more than 40 years later:

 

Leave a comment