A show celebrating 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing captivated crowds on the National Mall Friday night by turning the Washington Monument into a towering movie screen.
A true-to-size, 363-foot-tall Saturn V rocket was projected onto the 555-foot-tall monument.
When it was shown firing its engines and launching, a crowd that had gathered on the Mall cheered and applauded.
In addition to the rocket lifting off, the crowd saw various stages of the rocket separating, the lunar landing itself, and the crew’s splashdown back on Earth.
The event was conceived and commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum and includes recreations and archival footage.
“I thought it was amazing. It brought back so many memories,” said Shawn McCahey, who is visiting from Chicago. “I was 13 when this happened, and I still remember it, and that was an incredible experience.”
Zandy Williams, of Fairfax County, Virginia, agreed.
“It was very moving … I was 6 years old at my grandmother’s house watching them land on the moon. I still have vivid memories of seeing Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon,” said Williams.
The 17-minute show was projected onto the monument three times Friday night. There will be three more showings Saturday night at 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.