This evening I stopped and did something I haven’t done in a while.
I stopped and admired the moon.
When I was younger I had my bed situated where I could lay in bed and stare at the moon. I have loved the moon for a very long time. It kept me company when I was lonely, it kept me interested when I was bored and it held many dreams of mine which included walking on it.
To say I was obsessed with space travel might be an understatement. I read books, watched movies even skipped school to watch televised shuttle launches. I borrowed books with shuttle schematics and had a teacher get me press releases of different launches.
Apollo however had and always will have a special place in my heart. There have been other missions before Apollo and without Gemini there would have been no Apollo. There have been several missions after those as well but Apollo seems to be the one that caught the world’s attention.
Today Neil Armstrong passed away after complications from his heart surgery from a few weeks ago. I didn’t cry when I heard the news but my heart sank. The first man on the moon always referred to the occasion as it was just his job and he was doing it. Realistically it could have been any of the Apollo astronauts who ended up being chosen for that mission however the rotation of flight crew at the time landed on Neil’s number.
He is a hero, some may argue this fact however he did something that only 12 other humans have ever done. (Really in my eyes they are all heroes but there is a special place for the first)
What shocks me about this whole situation is that so many people are posing the question “Who is Neil Armstrong.” This may not be taught in schools however my parents for example remember seeing it. If these people’s parents are too young to remember this their grandparents were likely around to witness this event. With google, YouTube and wikipedia you’re telling me these people couldn’t educate themselves.
This reaction has made me pledge to Adam that I will teach him who Neil Armstrong was and what he did. I’ll also make sure the others such as Alan Bean, Pete Conrad and Harrison Schmidt won’t be forgotten either. These people may not have been the first to walk on the moon, but they deserve the same respect.
Tonight the moon is shining a little brighter, as the earth mourns the loss a great man.
Rest In Peace Neil.