An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described “nerdy” engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with the first step on the moon.
The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.
Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.
There are moments in your life that you will always remember. Events that shaped the world, and you, to some extent or another. Those events, if you are as old, or older, than I am, you will likely remember long after you forget your kid’s name. Things like, Elvis being drafted, watching John Glenn circle the earth for the first time, the Cuban missile crisis, where you were, and who you were with, when you heard that JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King had been shot. In more recent years, what you were doing when you heard about Reagan getting shot, 9/11, etc.
One of those pivotal moments in my life was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. I had just gotten home from a date when my dad told us to hurry up…come into the den and watch! We sat there spellbound. To actually SEE a human being take the first step on that thing we took for granted being in the sky? It was one of those “Oh wow!” moments that I’ll never forget. Just me, my dad, and the boyfriend of the time. They have both since passed on, my dad and the boyfriend, and now, one of those heroes from my past is gone as well. I didn’t realize it would affect me in such an emotional manner, but I guess it’s one of those times when you realize that you really are moving on towards the end.
We had such high hopes back then for a bright future, with more space exploration to come. A great many advancements came from those space programs (other than Tang), but I’m sad to say, we didn’t go near as far as we could have, or should have, to our great shame.
Now, our space program includes wanting to make Muslims feel better about themselves? Yes, we do have the Curiosity roaming around Mars, but we should have had a base there by now, along with one on the moon, and a functional space station…or more than one, actually.
Many prayers with the family at this time. Perhaps Armstrong’s achievements will encourage kids to look toward the future, and the stars.