Last night, as I was driving back from Phoenix, a BBC News report came on National Public Radio. At that time, I looked up at the Moon, and saw the crater shadow that looks like a giant in full stride. The account on BBC was of the life of Neil Armstrong- how apropos! I can remember, when we were in the midst of Basic Training, a drill instructor brought us all up into a room which had a TV. The instructor told us that today was a moment that would live in the memories of everyone alive at that time. The Apollo 11 Crew had made it to the Moon’s surface. As 45 green soldiers-in-training, and millions of other people, watched, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of our planet’s natural satellite and uttered his famous words-minimizing his own act and placing emphasis on the collective: It was Mankind that had taken a bounding leap into the greater universe.
Neil Armstrong was too self-effacing a man to ever insert himself into continuous national prominence, afterward. In spite of that, or maybe BECAUSE of it, he will live for all posterity as one of the greatest American heroes- a fact acknowledged by President Obama, by his colleague Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and more privately by thousands of us around the globe. It was his wish to see us move on towards further lunar exploration and towards the exploration of Mars. Let’s do that, as a human race, and do so responsibly, as good stewards and as good neighbours in the Universe.