The first lunar explorer has died at age 82. When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface in 1969, he answered the question that was posed by e.e. cummings in a favorite poem:
Who knows if the moon’s a balloon,
coming out of a keen city in the sky,
filled with pretty people?
Neil stumbled slightly when speaking the words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” I don’t blame him. The whole world was watching. Stage fright’s tough just on the local school’s stage. It must have been paralyzing on the moon.
I’m glad that NASA chose such a capable yet modest, dignified man for the role of first man on the moon. Mr. Armstrong made us all proud.
“Armstrong, probably the only man for whom the 20th century will be remembered 50,000 years from now”
– J. G. Ballard
Have a safe journey, Neil.