The man every boy dreamed of being. I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon when I was six years old. A grainy image on my father’s old black and white RCA television. A distorted audio signal beaming his voice back to earth from 385,000 kilometers in space. ;
Armstrong’s words “That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” spoken on July 20, 1969, as he became the first person ever to step onto another planetary body, instantly became a part of history. ;
Those few words from the Sea of Tranquillity were the climactic fulfillment of the efforts and hopes of millions of people and the expenditure of billions of dollars. A plaque on one of the lander’s legs that concluded “We came in peace for all mankind,” further emphasized that Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were there as representatives of all humans.
Armstrong is survived by his wife, two sons, a stepson, a stepdaughter, 10 grandchildren, and a brother and sister.
“Neil Armstrong was a hero not just of his time, but of all time,” said President Barack Obama. “Thank you, Neil, for showing us the power of one small step.”
Armstrong’s family released the following statement on Saturday: ;
“Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut…”