Neil Armstrong, RIP

Neil Armstrong, RIP August 25, 2012

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

As significant a figure in the history of human exploration as Columbus, Magellan, or Cook.  God rest his soul.  I feel a little older today as I think back to a warm evening in 1969 and the stilled astonishment of seeing those images from the surface of the Moon.  A titanic civilizational achievement that remains undimmed for me to this day.

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  • Somehow his death reminds me of this song:

    Fly me to the moon
    and let me play among the stars,
    let me see what spring is like
    on Jupiter and Mars. . .

    I’ve always admired the humility Armstrong exhibited. His “one small step for a man – one giant leap for mankind exhibited that. He marveled that his smallness was part of something so huge as mankind’s first visit to another world.

    May the merciful God grant him eternal happiness and peace– and may he play among the stars forevermore.

  • JonathanR.

    I guess it’s time for that bio pic starring Kirk Lazarus…. 😀

  • astorian

    In a way, it’s appropriate that Neil Armstrong adopted Cincinnati as his home town, because he embodied the virtues of Cincinnatus. Having served his country heroically, Armstrong chose to return to his family and to live a quiet life, completely out of the public eye. Think about it- until his death was announced yesterday, when was the last time you read or heard ANYTHING about Neil Armstrong in the media?

  • Alfredo Escalona

    I remember that night vividly, watching with my family, the magic of watching the greatest triumph of the human spirit I’d ever seen. Thinking back, what comes to my mind as I grieve the loss of Neil is this:

    “High Flight”

    (John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) was a 19 year old American aviator and poet who died as a result of a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire during World War II. He was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he voulunteered into before the United States officially entered the war. He wrote this a few months before he died, after having taken his Spitfire Mark 1, VZ-H, serial number AD-291, RCAF 412 Squadron, up to over 33,000 ft., which triggered the last line of the poem in his head. )

    RIP, Johnny. I hope to break bread with you and Neil some day.

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air….

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

  • I’m not even 30 and I’m surprised at how hard Armstrong’s death hit me. I’m tearing up again reading this post. As a geeky boy Armstrong was a hero of mine, even if it was only in the vague justification ‘he’s the best astronaut.’ As an adult I see his death as an example of an enormous unfulfilled hope passing away only to be replaced by a younger, more useless love of cynicism and ease. RIP Neil.

  • some guy

    How long before some leftist academic besmirches his legacy ala colombus by saying he desecrated the moon or some such nonsense that passes for “groundbreaking scholarship” these days?

  • Charles E Flynn

    For those of you who did not see the New York Times front page: