Godspeed Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong died today at the age of 82.  He was a giant who walked among us.  He was the first of us to walk on the moon.  He is the human face of what was likely the most unified and celebrated achievement of America during the past century.  Yet he remained modest, still one of us.

In my day job, I support a lot of federal government agencies in the IT arena.  I have always enjoyed the people of NASA when I get the chance to work with or around them.  They remain a proud group, always on a mission.  They are not paper pushers or clock watchers.  They are Americans who still believe in pushing America to greatness.  A few of my thoughts on them can be found here.

For those younger than me, we have always been a country that knew we could send a man into space.  We just accept that we can walk on the moon.  But for those older than me, there was a time when these things were in doubt.  We weren’t sure if we could.  We thought the Soviets might do it first.

We came together as a nation, made it a priority, and Mr. Armstrong took one small step as a giant leap for mankind.  We were proud of ourselves as a country.  That was a good thing.

Today, Neil Armstrong leaves our world on a much different journey.  We are a better nation because of the time he was with us.  Goodspeed sir, and well done.

17 comments

  1. Noway says:

    Where to even begin about the importance of this man? Modern day Christopher Colombus? His first steps and the spectacular success of Apollo was the most important achievement of the 20th Century. I got to meet him three years ago in Dayton, Ohio. He, along with most of the other Apollo astronauts were being inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. That ceremony and the words from each of those guys were truly inspirational! Even in their late 70’s, these guys were real competitive and patriots who seemed ready to suit back up! That was some real rarefied air!
    This is huge loss for the Nation. He was a real American hero. Thank you, Neil Armstrong!

      • Noway says:

        Thank you, John. I’m just fixated on every news channel watching the stories about him! I’m 50 and watched the landing in front of our Zenith TV in our living room as a 7 year old. The competition with the Soviets, the unity of America at that time, seeing our flag planted there, it’s enough to give me shivers of pride 40 years later.

        • John Konop says:

          I am also 50 and you did a great job capturing our generation. I hope I meet you sometime to buy you a drink or 2…..! Seriously, you post made me flashback to that time. Thank you once again!

  2. I was 10 the summer of 1969. My friends and I gathered with our families around a small TV to watch the moon landing. It was one of those moments. After 5 years of gathering around the TV about turmoil–JFK, MLK and RFK–if was great to have a moment like an American man walking on the moon using computers that weren’t as powerful as most smart phones. An amazing accomplishment.

    Neil Armstrong was a humble hero. He went on to live a life that mattered beyond walking on the moon.

    We need men, and women, like Neil Armstrong to look up to. Humble heroes who do truly great things and then go on with their lives.

    I’m a child of the space program era and I believe it was a good investment.

  3. saltycracker says:

    “Landing men on the Moon by the end of 1969 required the most sudden burst of technological creativity, and the largest commitment of resources ($24 billion), ever made by any nation in peacetime. At its peak, the Apollo program employed 400,000 people and required the support of over 20,000 industrial firms and universities.” Wikipedia

    After Apollo, the Canaveral area became economically depressed, diversified themselves without a lot of government intervention, then came back stronger than ever.

    Today our national attention is on social causes or subsidies and programs like Cash for Clunkers or First Time Home Buyer . At least the Keynesians of past didn’t promote cultural decay.

Comments are closed.