THE THINKING HUMAN'S HERO
When I heard the news on August 25, 2012 I actually felt pain. I rarely feel so strongly about a person I have never met. However, Neil Armstrong touched me and most of the planet Earth many years ago as he brilliantly landed the Eagle on the Sea of Tranquility. Every human was transfixed as we stepped on the Moon. I saw "we" because we all held our collective breaths and felt our feet touch - at least in spirit - another place. It's just one of those moments in one's life that you just can not forget. A memory just as clear today as when it happened. I knew with absolute certainty that THIS was the most important achievement of the 20th century. And I saw it happen.
So, when I heard this man had passed I selfishly felt a part of my childhood was gone. But I'm not a child anymore and I also know that Neil Armstrong had lived a full and useful life after (and before) his jaunt on the Moon. He knew his place in history - he was just humble about it. He went to his kids' boy scout meetings, he flew F9F Panther fighter jets (in the Korean War), he taught engineering, he was a test pilot and flew over 200 aircraft, and for just under three hours he walked on the Moon. When asked what that felt like he would simply say, “I was certainly aware that this was the culmination of the work of 300,000 to 400,000 people over a decade.”
That's because Armstrong understood that he was a team player - the public face representing the hard work of many other people. He always respected his colleagues. The only way to achieve great things when one works with other talented and dedicated people is to know that the Goal is what matters. Armstrong always said the mission was more famous than he was.
When the Moon hit's your eye like a big pizza pie...that's amore
Neil Armstrong had no interest in interviews, fame or media attention. He was perfectly comfortable with meeting people, however. So when he had researched his Scottish heritage he made some visits.
In 1972, Mr Armstrong traveled to Langholm in Dumfries-shire where he had traced his ancestors. The town put on a special ceremony at Langholm Parish Church where Armstrong was presented with the Armstrong coat of arms and made the first freeman of the town. He said, “My pleasure is not only that this is the land of Johnnie Armstrong (his forebear), rather that my pleasure is in knowing that this is my home town and in the genuine feeling that I have among these hills among these people.”
Here is a short video made from 16mm duped sections of original news footage from Border Television.
Armstrong's "muckle leap" to Langholm video
Armstrong next visited Glasgow on October 9, 1974.
Westclox Scotland hosted a Space Seminar for " Neil Armstrong and British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore. Both visited the Scottish factory to promote the introduction of 'Quartz' time-keeping."
He was presented with the Armstrong tartan, but basically avoided interviews, photographs and any sort of media hoopla.
In 2010 he played a round of golf at Leven Links in Fife. That may not sound very "exciting" in today's odd view of a Famous Person. But Armstrong did get excited about the things he loved. He was an engineer and that is what sparked his intellect. I became aware last year that Armstrong had one of his rare interviews. In this case with Alex Malley (CEO, CPA Australia). His description of landing the Eagle is just as exciting as having watched it all those years ago. You can see how fully engaged he is.
What others say about Armstrong's character reveals a great deal. This truly is one of the THE most amazing articles I have read.
38 Pictures - some unfamiliar, some well known, all wonderful.
Photos from Retro Space Images and complied by collectSPACE.
Excellent tribute by James M. Clash
Armstrong's all over revel in their connection to Neil.
Neil Armstrong Memorial: First Man on Moon Eulogized
A Tribute to Neil Armstrong – StarTalk Radio
"In this, our first episode made up entirely of questions from our fans, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson offers his own reflections and answers your Cosmic Queries about Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon. From the time he met Neil Armstrong at age 14 to the private family funeral on the day of a “Blue Moon,” Neil shares his own personal memories of the humble, private NASA astronaut who took us all with him to the Moon. With the help of comic co-host Eugene Mirman, Neil responds to Cosmic Queries about Apollo 11, the future of manned space exploration and how long it would take NASA to mount a manned mission back to the Moon if we were in a new space race with China."
The is the statement from his family:
"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
Oh, I will. I often look at the Moon and remember that for millions of years it was a big mystery. People used to joke that it was made of cheese. Nobody says that anymore. That's because we WENT there. We KNOW what it is now. We had adventures traveling to it. We drove a car on it and played golf. As I watched Armstrong step down from the Eagle I felt the Human Species move UP the evolutionary ladder. No one can look up at the Moon today and not be reminded of this great achievement. And we should never forget. Because we have to make more.
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