"" Writer's Wanderings: The Difference a Word Makes

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Difference a Word Makes

We toured the Kennedy Space Center today. It made me feel old. . .very old. The tour guide told the kids and their parents about how people back in those days watched on TV as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Yup. That was me. We watched with our neighbors from the upstairs apartment.

Apparently there was a lot of consideration given to what he would say when he placed that first foot in the moon dust. NASA officials had actually written the words, “That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong however, decided that he didn’t want to focus any attention on his accomplishment alone. It wasn’t just a man who was landing on the moon, it was representative of thousands of men and women working years to get to that point. When he stepped off the ladder, he omitted the little “a” before man and made it “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” In doing so, he included all those who had worked on the space project as well as those of us with him in spirit as we watched on TV.

What a difference that one little word made.

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