“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
— Apollo Astronaut Neil Armstrong as he set foot on the surface of the moon on
July 20, 1969The first moon walk on July 20, 1969 was a magical moment. Technology was so new – even television was a toddler. But that toddler brought us live pictures from the surface, a live picture of an exploration that changed the world and captured the imaginations of a generation.
The man who took that first step, Neil Armstrong, died Saturday, 43 years after that first walk.
The world marveled at his, and the other astronaut’s bravery, skill, intelligence and fearless exploration spirit.
At the time, computers were something for science fiction, space travel wasn’t much more than a trip around the earth in a rocket and modern communications involved a telephone connected to an outlet in the wall.
After the moon walk, the world was filled with possibilities – possibilities limited only by imaginations.
Armstrong was the leader, the pioneer.
As Aiken Standard Senior Staff Writer Rob Novitt so eloquently put it in a tribute to Armstrong in Sunday’s edition, “As an explorer who left this planet and walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong is right there in our imaginations with Marco Polo, Columbus and Magellan - even more so as a uniquely American hero.”
After the moon, walk Armstrong stepped back into private life and never flew in space again. He raised a family, went into business, taught and was involved in public life in Cincinnati.
This week, many are discussing memorials to him. His family made a request in a news release.
“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.”