A Hero Passes

Neil Armstrong, 1930 - 2012
Tonight I learned of the sad passing of one of the few people I have ever considered a hero. Neil Armstrong, R.I.P..


  1. What a remarkable human being, John. I was six years old when he set foot on the moon and I remember the excitement to this day (along with all the books and toys in the shops) Probably dewy eyed nostalgia for my childhood but it seemed to be the last era when we were, as a race, filled with excitement and the hope of becoming something beyond ourselves. Looking back on his career now, he seemed to be one of those rare individuals who was either immune to fear or fuelled by it. His career as a test pilot defies belief; any normal human being would have died of heart failure many times over.
    I don’t know that we produce heroes anymore or even outstanding mavericks. The Brunels, the Burtons, the Crowleys and their ilk seem to be have largely disappeared from the human gene pool.
    Neil Armstrong was one of the last to have lived more in a minute than most do in a lifetime.
    A crucial part of our history has gone to the grave with him but 82 was a fair age for a man who cheated death for a living.

    1. Thanks for that, NL.

      I was eleven when the landing took place, so remember it well. It captured my imagination and I gathered every book, model and news item I could. I watched every manned Saturn V launch, and thought that "this is how it will be from now on". What a disappointment the future turned out to be!

      Neil Armstrong was a hero for many reasons, not just for being the first to set foot on the Moon. He had already achieved great things as a fighter pilot, a test pilot and a Gemini astronaut, and he forged another career for himself after he left NASA. Meanwhile, he had great humility and refused to accept all of the glory for something that was the achievement of many.

      Yes, he lived to a good age, but it still feels like a terrible loss.


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