Saturday, September 1, 2012

Filled Under:


Flags at half-mast across the nation for Neil Armstrong,
August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012

The man was a bonafide hero. He and his crew risked their lives to do something utterly selfless - journey to the Moon and return. There was no guarantee they'd make it back, either; in fact, they didn't expect to make it back. The sequence of hundreds of events that had to occur to get them off that planetoid were a one-shot deal. Any single item on a lengthy checklist go wrong and they'd still be up there today.

They did it anyway, and when they returned they were rightfully lauded as heroes. They toured the world in President Nixon's plane - dubbed 'Air Force 2' as the President was not on board.

As a kid, I watched the moon landing on TV - a grainy image on a 13" black and white screen I could barely make out. I was there at Dacca International Airport in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) to see the Apollo 11 astronauts get off the plane and wave to us. Our hearts were bursting with pride, and I wasn't even an American, wouldn't be for another fifteen years. It didn't matter - the men who flew to the moon and returned were heroes of every human being; living, dead or yet to be born. That's how monumental was their achievement.

And that's where Neil Armstrong's heroism really began - they way he conducted himself from that point on, and for the rest of his life; with honor, and genuine humility. He avoided the spotlight and refused to cash in on his fame. Neil Armstrong recognized that what he'd done was the culmination of a vast team effort, at NASA, across the nation and around the world; they'd done it on behalf of all Mankind. To gain personal fortune from this singular milestone event in human history would have lessened it. When Neil Armstrong became aware that people were selling his autographs, he stopped signing them. Imagine a celebrity behaving in such a manner in this day and age.

"Respect, and Honor"



Post a Comment