I was shocked and stunned today when I logged onto the internet to find news reports of the death of Neil Armstrong. What’s more is that I was shocked to find just how deeply affected by this news I was. Neil Armstrong was one of those people that I have known about all of my life, yet have never really taken the time to think about, but now I suddenly find myself doing just that.
The word hero is thrown around a lot, given to people who, whilst they have done great things in their respective fields, are not people that I would consider a hero. Neil Armstrong, however, does deserve this title.
Serving in the navy during the Korean War, and going on to become a test pilot during the fifties Armstrong was already a hugely brave man, doing things that most would run from. Then he joined the space programme.
I am going to be honest, space travel terrifies me. The idea of being so close to nothingness, of infinite emptiness sounds utterly horrifying. So many things could go wrong, there is no guarantee of safety. To choose to go in to space takes so much courage that it baffles the mind.
With the eyes of the world upon him Neil Armstrong went on to make history, to make his name one that will live on forever. There will never be a time when people don’t know who Neil Armstrong is, or does not know the immortal phrase ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.
Neil Armstrong went from a man to a legend, a symbol of human courage and endeavour. His example shows the entire world that anything can be accomplished, that no goal is out of your reach.
Thank you for your courage and your dedication, you will never be forgotten. Neil Armstrong, August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012.