Family witnessed historic space trip

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One of my most memorable moments happened February 20, 1962, when we were living in Leesburg, Fla.

My husband and I stood out in the front yard with our 3-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter and watched the liftoff of Col. John Glenn’s space flight. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. I felt goose bumps on my arm as we watched history being made.

Col. Glenn circled the Earth three times during his five- and-a-half-hour flight before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean in his space capsule, Friendship 7, and being picked up by the destroyer U.S.S Noa.

Although Leesburg is in south Florida, and the liftoff took place in north Florida, we could see it clearly. It was a perfect day to witness this historic event.

Many other unforgettable moments have occurred in my lifetime – including my cousin, astronaut Roger Crouch, flying two space shuttle missions – but that day in 1962 is an event that will always stand out as an unforgettable moment for me.

Coffeyville, Kan.