Being an unrepentant space cadet, it is hard to describe my feelings at the recent passing of Neil Armstrong. For several years during the relatively early part of my childhood, I looked forward to the launch of the next Apollo mission the same way kids these days eagerly await the release of a much hyped video game. What can I say? That is just who I was and still am in many respects.
Neil Armstrong was everything in life Americans these days like to delude themselves into believe they are now. In short, he was a true hero on a level comparable with those ancient voyagers who exist more in the realm of myth and legend than real life. Neil and his fellow Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon had the courage and intelligence to travel to place that for vast majority of human history had more in common with mystical Atlantis than any faraway but real location here on Earth. The fact that they used technology that in this era can easily be called extremely primitive only makes their accomplishments that more amazing.
The only thing that surpasses their triumph is the fact that forty-three years later not only can we not return to the moon but as of right now Americans have to buy seats on Russian rockets just to get into low-earth orbit. Although there are several promising commercial ventures that not only look to change this fact but will begin to allow a much wider access to space.
Right after Neil Armstrong’s passing was announced on National Public Radio I heard scores of testimonials as to the effect he had on the lives of other people. One gentleman in his early eighties called in to tell the story of the conversation he had with his elderly aunt the day Neil set foot on the moon. The guy said that in 1969 he was sitting with her watching the pictures being beamed back from the moon. His aunt was in her late eighties herself at the time and he leaned over and asked her did she ever think she would see a man walking on the moon. Her response was awe inspiring.
This lady told her nephew that as a little girl she crossed the continent with her parents and siblings in a covered wagon, saw the creation of a nationwide railroad system, then lived to see the invention of the airplane so no, seeing men walk on the moon did not seem outlandish at all. I pray that I live to see similar achievements in my own life.
Godspeed Neil Armstrong. A thousand years from now your name will be remembered.
Neil Armstrong, 1st to walk on moon, buried at sea
The first man to walk on the moon has been buried at sea.buried at sea.
NASA says Neil Armstrong's cremated remains were buried in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday during a ceremony aboard the USS Philippine Sea.
Armstrong was a Navy fighter pilot before joining the space program. He died last month in Ohio at age 82. His burial follows a memorial service in Washington on Thursday.
NASA photographs show Armstrong's widow, Carol Armstrong, accepting a folded American flag during the ceremony, which NASA said included a bugler and a rifle salute.
The space agency didn't give the location of the ceremony. The ship's homeport is Mayport, Fla.