Neil Armstrong R.I.PAugust 27, 2012
Neil Armstrong, the modest, cool astronaut who made history in 1969 by being the first man to walk on the moon, died, aged 82, from complications following heart surgery. He, along with Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins took that very risky trip on Apollo 11 to what was then unknown territory. Why? Because it was there. They were made of the right stuff.
I was a very small Pie when, with my mum, I watched Neil Armstrong take that step on the moon. I didn’t know exactly what was going on as the grainy picture flickered into life, but I could feel the importance of the occasion and I remember his quote, as almost everyone did who was around at that time: “That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.” My mum kept a copy of the Daily Mirror newspaper, featuring an image of that epic event on the front cover, for many years. I wonder if she still has it.
The statement from the family regarding his death was very moving. I was particularly struck by this quote:
“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”
I can see the moon from my kitchen. When it comes around again I’ll be giving it a big wink. Thanks for your efforts, Mr Armstrong. You were a big man in every sense and now you’re up there with the rest of the stars. Sleep well.