I was looking outside my window two days ago and saw the moon that looked so round and bright. There were colored rings surrounding the full moon. As I was amazed by the view, it reminded me that we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing which happened on July 20th, 1969. Three of the main people who went to the moon were Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. On July 21st, Neil Armstrong became the first man who stepped on the moon. He studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University and graduated with Bachelor of Science in 1955. Two years ago while we were doing college visit to several colleges in the Midwest, we visited Purdue. One of the building that we encountered was the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, The building is the center of many engineering programs at Purdue, such as the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, School of Materials Engineering, the Minority Engineering Program, Women in Engineering Program etc.
In front of this magnificent building is the bronze statue of young Neil Armstrong when he studied at Purdue sitting on a stone podium looking thoughtful. Not far from the statue is Armstrong’s famous quote when he landed on the moon etched on the concrete floor:
“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.
There are several boot prints placed on the lawn copying the steps that Neil Armstrong made on the moon. My son had some fun time leaping from one boot print to another making those “giant leap for mankind” at Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. Those boot prints are really, really big.
When I went inside Neil Armstrong Engineering Hall, I was in awe. At the further part of its spacious lobby hanged the replica of Apollo 1, the command module. Apollo 1 was the first manned mission of United States Apollo Program that destined to send the first men to the moon. An electrical fire consumed the space module and killed all the three crews inside: Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Robert B. Chaffee and Ed White. Both Grissom and Chaffee graduated from Purdue University, like Armstrong.
For a mere man or woman like me, the moon is an inspiration, an object to be amazed of and a destination to send our wishes or hang our hopes. But to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the moon was a place they could visit making the dream that for a long time has been a man’s biggest idea came true. There’s some pride in me having visited Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering and learned more about this wonderful earth hero, the first man on the moon.