Remembering Neil Armstrong… When Men Walked on the Moon

Almost everyone in the baby-boomer generation and older knows exactly where they were when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  I was a junior in high school at the time and my father gathered up the whole family plus any additional kids that were over visiting to watch the event on our black and white TV.  “This is a moment you will remember forever!” he said, “even when we have sent a man to Mars or left our solar system”; both things that people of our generation expected would happen in our lifetime.  Every one of us chanted the phrase: “One Small step for man; One giant step for mankind”

Video: Neil Armstrong One Small Step

Now at Neil Armstrong’s death the United States of America no longer even has a space program and we have to pay for and hitch a ride with the Russians or the Chinese if we want to go out into space.  John F. Kennedy must be spinning in his grave along with my father.  And Neil Armstrong certainly never thought he’d see the day we didn’t have a space program in 1969 as he was the first man to walk on the moon.

Neil Armstrong left us today and travelled farther than the moon… Perhaps he will shine his good graces back onto us?!?  Ask Marion~

Judson Phillips – Tea Party Nation:

Like so many Americans, I took a moment to remember Neil Armstrong today. He was a hero to so many in my generation.

I was ten years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Like all of my friends, that July I wanted to be an astronaut. For three years we watched with incredible pride as America put a total of twelve men on the moon.

Then we gave up.

We walked away.

For forty years, the moon has not seen a visitor from earth. In the next few years, man will probably return to the moon. But it will not be an American who returns to the moon.

History might record 1969 as America’s high water mark. We were the undisputed world power. We put men on the moon. We had the highest standard of living. People wanted to be Americans.

America has lost its greatness. Children today are not taught this nation is great. In some areas, it is controversial to have children recite the pledge of allegiance.

When Neil Armstrong returned to the Earth in 1969, he was the most famous man in the world. He could have done anything he wanted to do. He chose to leave the space program and ultimately teach engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Starting in the 70’s America began its retreat from greatness. Instead of continuing space exploration, politicians decided to take that money and spend it on programs that exist only to assure their reelection.

One of the greatest Americans from the 20th century passed today. Today we look back at the day Neil Armstrong became the most famous man in the world. Then America was a great nation, committed to being the best in the world.

Today America is fading. We have only a short time left to turn the nation around and try to regain the greatness America once had.

Neil Armstong Dies at 82Astronaut Neil Armstrong Dies at 82

First moonwalker Neil Armstrong’s death at the age of 82 marks the passing of a "reluctant American hero," as well as the dimming of the Space Age’s brightest moment.

His death followed complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent this month, Armstrong’s family said today in a statement released by NASA. The first public report of Armstrong’s death came via NBC News’ Cape Canaveral correspondent, Jay Barbree, a longtime friend.

Armstrong has been immortalized in human history as the first human to set foot on a celestial body beyond Earth. "That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," he radioed back to Earth from the moon on July 20, 1969.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that "as long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them."

Armstrong’s fellow moonwalker on the Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin, was among the legions mourning his passage. "We are missing a great spokesman and leader in the space program," Aldrin said in a BBC interview. He said he’d remember Armstrong "as being a very capable commander and leader of an achievement that will be recognized until man sets foot on the planet Mars."

Michael Collins, the crewmate who circled the moon in the Apollo 11 command module while Armstrong and Aldrin took that first trip to the lunar surface, also paid tribute to his commander in a NASA statement: "He was the best, and I will miss him terribly."

President Barack Obama said that Armstrong and his crew "carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation," and that the first steps on the moon "delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."

"Today, Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown — including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space," Obama said in a White House statement. "That legacy will endure — sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."

The "one small step" served as the climax of a superpower space race with the Soviet Union, and arguably established the United States’ primacy in outer space for decades to come. But Apollo 11 also set a precedent for peaceful cooperation in space. "We came in peace for all mankind," the plaque left behind on the moon read. At one point during Armstrong’s first moonwalk, he stopped for what he called a "tender moment" and set down a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who died in the course of their duties.

Before and after the moon
The Ohio-born Armstrong began his career in aerospace as a Navy fighter pilot who served with distinction in the Korean War. During the 1950s, he was a test pilot with experience flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft. He was accepted into NASA’s second astronaut class in 1962, and during his mission as Gemini 8 commander in 1966, he tamed his wildly spinning capsule and brought it in for an emergency landing.

That quiet cool served him well during Apollo 11, when he had to take manual control of the lunar module, nicknamed Eagle, during the landing. When the craft touched down in the moon’s Sea of Tranquility, about 30 seconds’ worth of fuel remained.

"Houston, Tranquility Base here," Armstrong reported to Mission Control. "The Eagle has landed."

Armstrong and Aldrin spent more than 21 hours on the lunar surface, including two and a half hours’ worth of moonwalking. They were amazed to come back to Earth and see how millions of people across the planet had followed their exploits. "Neil, look up there," Aldrin told him as he pointed at a TV screen. "We missed the whole thing."

After his moon mission, Armstrong took a low profile, becoming what his family called a "reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job." He left NASA in 1971, and took on executive positions in the aerospace industry as well as a teaching position in the University of Cincinnati’s engineering department. Armstrong served on several policy commissions, including the presidential panel that investigated the 1986 Challenger explosion.

Concerned about future spaceflight
In his latter years, Armstrong became increasingly concerned about America’s continuing leadership in space. He was a strong proponent of efforts to send American astronauts back to the moon, and feared that NASA’s cancellation of its return-to-the-moon program would cede America’s position as a leader in space exploration to other nations.

"Some question why America should return to the moon," Armstrong told a House committee in 2010. "’After all,’ they say, ‘we have already been there.’ I find that mystifying. It would be as if 16th-century monarchs proclaimed that ‘we need not go to the New World, we have already been there.’"

When NBC’s Jay Barbree asked Armstrong last month to reflect on the future of spaceflight, for the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, the former astronaut pointed to remarks in which he said the lunar environment was "an exceptional location to learn about traveling to more distant places."

"I am persuaded that a return to the moon would be the most productive path to expanding the human presence in the solar system," he wrote.

Armstrong was famous for staying out of fame’s spotlight as much as he could. Some outsiders may have faulted him for his reticence, but not his fellow astronauts.

"Most of our group in those days could have accomplished the challenge of the mission," Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham told NBC News’ James Oberg in an email, "but I do not know a one that could have handled the resulting notoriety as well as Neil did."

Over the past year, Armstrong was a bit more in the public eye. Last November, he and other space pioneers — including Aldrin, Collins and John Glenn, the first American in orbit — were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

In February, Armstrong spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring the 50th anniversary of Glenn’s history-making spaceflight. In May, Armstrong joined Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of the National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

On Aug. 7, just two days after his 82nd birthday, Armstrong underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery after flunking a medical stress test. At the time, his wife, Carol, reported that her husband was "doing great" — but today the family said complications from that surgery led to his death.

Concerned about future spaceflight
In his latter years, Armstrong became increasingly concerned about America’s continuing leadership in space. He was a strong proponent of efforts to send American astronauts back to the moon, and feared that NASA’s cancellation of its return-to-the-moon program would cede America’s position as a leader in space exploration to other nations.

"Some question why America should return to the moon," Armstrong told a House committee in 2010. "’After all,’ they say, ‘we have already been there.’ I find that mystifying. It would be as if 16th-century monarchs proclaimed that ‘we need not go to the New World, we have already been there.’"

When NBC’s Jay Barbree asked Armstrong last month to reflect on the future of spaceflight, for the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, the former astronaut pointed to remarks in which he said the lunar environment was "an exceptional location to learn about traveling to more distant places."

"I am persuaded that a return to the moon would be the most productive path to expanding the human presence in the solar system," he wrote.

Armstrong was famous for staying out of fame’s spotlight as much as he could. Some outsiders may have faulted him for his reticence, but not his fellow astronauts.

"Most of our group in those days could have accomplished the challenge of the mission," Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham told NBC News’ James Oberg in an email, "but I do not know a one that could have handled the resulting notoriety as well as Neil did."

Over the past year, Armstrong was a bit more in the public eye. Last November, he and other space pioneers — including Aldrin, Collins and John Glenn, the first American in orbit — were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

In February, Armstrong spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring the 50th anniversary of Glenn’s history-making spaceflight. In May, Armstrong joined Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of the National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

On Aug. 7, just two days after his 82nd birthday, Armstrong underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery after flunking a medical stress test. At the time, his wife, Carol, reported that her husband was "doing great" — but today the family said complications from that surgery led to his death.

Slideshow: Neil Armstrong: 1930 – 2012

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place".
This entry was posted in Choices, Dumbing Down of America, Knowledge Is Power, News and politics, Patriotism, Remembering, Thoughts ..., Wake Up, You Be the Judge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Remembering Neil Armstrong… When Men Walked on the Moon

  1. I’ve read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you put to make such a excellent informative website.

  2. Pingback: Neil Armstrong’s Burial At Sea | askmarion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s