One Giant Example for Mankind
This past weekend, Neil Armstrong passed away at the age of 82. 18 months or so before I was born, he became the first human to walk on the Moon, the first time a person stood on any celestial body beyond our atmosphere.
We’ve lost one of the good ones, one of our heroes — reluctant though he may have been to wear that mantle. It was precisely his humility and modesty that makes us so lucky that he made this milestone. He did his job, ducked out of the celebrity spotlight, and quietly went about his life on his own terms. All the tributes I’ve listened to or read in the last couple of days made a point of mentioning his lack of ego.
“I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.” —Neil Armstrong, interviewed on 60 Minutes: First Man (CBS News, 2005)
The statement from his family speaks volumes about the type of man he was. For those of us who never met him, but find ourselves inspired by his famous walk on the Moon and his legendary humility, we find ourselves gazing upwards tonight in remembrance.
“While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Thank you for your service, Commander. You’ve inspired us all to follow our dreams. Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong. None of us will ever forget you.