“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are…” A nursery rhyme that would remind you and makes you appreciate how breathtaking what your playful eyes can see above the heavens. Every time someone looks at the sky, day or night it can’t help but to envision itself floating freely, wandering around the layers of the thin air and seizing the moment from a bird’s eye view. Talk about the stars, planets, and the moon all these are just some of God’s magnificent creations that people have discovered but not all are given the opportunity neither to visit nor to experience the place. All that exists in the outer space are still a mystery for most because there is a huge difference between having to witness the actual appearance or image of an object from just hearing it from a science teacher or seeing a picture of it from a book or magazine.
Pretty sure, that each one of us have wondered how it feels like to be an astronaut, a space ranger who’s able to see the world in a different angle, in a clearer and much realistic view of the whole package for a long period of time.
But there is one man who fulfilled every man’s dream, the commander of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong who passed away a year ago, August 25, 2012 did not just went out of his comfort zone but he took a life-changing step for mankind on the 20th of July, 1969.
Armstrong’s family claimed that he died due to complications from coronary artery bypass surgery at the age of 82.
“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, test pilot, and astronaut. He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.”
It was in July 20, 1969 when Armstrong made history. Half a billion people were magnetized to their black and white television screens as he puts down his left foot on the moon’s surface and said, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Then minutes later Buzz Aldrin, Armstrong’s crew mate, finally joined him in that once in a lifetime journey. The world watched these history makers as they spent the next two hours and twenty one minutes bounding around the moon’s surface, gathering rock samples, set up two experiments and take a phone call from President Nixon. They also planted the American flag on the surface.
Armstrong was the one who took some of the pictures of Apollo 11 that are considered iconic nowadays.
After their Apollo 11 moonwalk voyage they splashed down safely in the Pacific on July 24, 1969. Neil Armstrong and his crew were welcomed by ticker-tape parades and a beaming President Nixon.
Armstrong decided to have his normal life back after that, he declined all requests for interviews and stopped giving autographs when people sold them for thousands of dollars.
He served a few years in NASA as manager in Washington. He taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati, not far from his birthplace. He was appointed to the panels that investigated the Apollo 13 accident and Disaster challenge.
Armstrong stated that he did not want to be an icon, only to be remembered for that one-week trip in 1969. He remained humble and down to earth; he encouraged his nation to keep on exploring. “There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of truth’s protective layers,” he said in 1994.
Armstrong believes that he is just an ordinary man who simply did his job and pursued a young kid’s dream but for his fellowmen he is a hero, an icon. He showed that ordinary man can do extraordinary deed if he only believes and continues to do so.