Just saw this bit of very sad news over at DailyKOS.
Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the surface of the moon, has died at age 82.
The family described him as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, and also as “a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job.”
That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.
When Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, he fulfilled the goal that had been set by President John F. Kennedy just eight years earlier. [...]
Armstrong’s family said, “While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
“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 recall a couple of interviews I saw with him when I was very young. I seem to recall that he was simply acting as outreach for some NASA science project at the time. Something he had very little to do with, but that someone at NASA saw a spokesman opportunity for him to do. Roll out the old hero of yesteryear sort of thing and let him wow the public. He seemed genuinely amazed that people thought so highly of his step and one liner while they couldn’t name the others who had been to the moon and back. I wonder if enough YouTube surfing could find that, or if it is something I am simply mis-remembering.
“…just doing his job.” Incredible.