Neil Armstrong’s death on August 25th, 2012 has affected me more than I thought it would. He is, without a doubt, an American hero, but heroes die everyday. The difference with Armstrong is he wasn’t just a hero, he was a living mythological, enigmatic figure who’s exploits are the stuff of legend. Many to this day still have trouble accepting his achievements as reality. “Walking on the moon” was literally a cliche for achieving the impossible….until Neil.
Armstrong was the first human to leave the earth with a destination on his itinerary. The first to get Moon dust on his boots. He is among the last of the great explorers; a fearless and determined breed who have yet to be replaced. Armstrong will be remembered for as long as there is human history to speak of, but his family asks us to remember him when we “walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Godspeed, Neil Armstrong.
UPDATE after the jump:
NASA released a nice little tribute video for Neil. Honestly, it has some awkward soundbites, especially from Charlie Bolden, but it’s still nice hearing from some unusual characters like engineers and managers. There’s a lot of God talk which was unexpected in a NASA video. But as usual, Gene Cernan steals the show with his eloquence: