I was 8 years old when this man did something never tried before. He landed a vehicle that was never landed before on the moon. It had been simulated, but it was never tried. It was also live on television. He was able to land “The Eagle” nearly running out of fuel in the effort. The man was a calm, intelligent and very cool test pilot. Then he did what had never been done before, he got out and walked on the surface of the moon.
The entire country and world were transfixed at him and Buzz Aldrin. Again nobody had any idea about what they could expect. Were there “moon bacteria” micro organisms that could be brought back destroying life here. Nobody knew, yet we took the chance. Then he did something else never tried before, he left the moon. Nobody knew if the ascent engines of the Eagle would even ignite. But they did. He was able to rendezvous with Michael Collins in Apollo 11 and all three made it back to earth.
Once back, he did something unexpected then and unheard of today. He went back to work. He avoided the acclaim. He didn’t cash in on what he did. He was a test pilot, he was an astronaut, and he did the job he was paid to do and came back to earth and went back to work. He was brave, intelligent, and humble. What a combination of attributes. Again, hard to find among people in this country today. I think that’s why I’m tearing up more than anything at his loss today. He brought the country together and set a great standard that too few abide by today. Rest in peace Neil Armstrong, you deserve it.