Apollo 11 Bash: Splashdown 45

Buzz Aldrin will visit the USS Hornet on a major moon anniversary.

LUNAR LEGACY: While many momentous occasions earn the "momentous" designation because they are indeed worthy of being considered in a grand, history-changing fashion, there are some so epic that a fresh word, beyond "momentous," should probably be invented. Take the moon landing, for instance. When people describe a movie or a meal as momentous, can the same be said of watching humans journey to a distant orb and even walk upon it? Let's call that moment back in July 1969 momentous-plus, for the time being. It's been 45 years since the world gathered around the small glowing screens in their living rooms, and people are rightly still agog that such a momentous-plus feat even occurred. But occur it did, altering our thoughts about space travel and the beyond, for always. Many a party will mark Apollo 11's 45th anniversary this summer, with the USS Hornet leading the way with one of the liveliest lunar-focused bashes. Buzz Aldrin, in fact, will be stopping by Splashdown 45, which means things will get very astronautical, indeed.

THE DAY'S EVENTS: As the party's name suggests, the "ever-popular festival" will commemorate, in part, "the daring, safe recovery of the astronauts and their command module by the aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12." Yep, you likely know that the Hornet played its own major role in the flights to the moon, lending a hand, upon splashdown, for both the Apollo 11 and 12 missions. It wasn't simply getting people to our lunar satellite but getting them back, of course; how many epic adventures come with two mind-boggingly complex and heroism-filled parts? So count on history, talks, and other moonly to-dos to go on during Splashdown 45, led, of course, by the appearance of Mr. Aldrin. And the date? Saturday, July 26, nearly 45 years to the day -- a couple of days past, actually -- when the USS Hornet recovered the astronauts in the Pacific Ocean. Stirring stuff, and truly momentous-plus.

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