I am sure that, as a child; this young man often repeated the rhyme; “Twinkle, Twinkle, little star. How I wonder where you are.” Or perhaps sang the popular tune; “Moonlight becomes you;” to the girl of his dreams. Typically, like many of our youth; his ‘eyes were on the skies;’ with the hope that one day, he would experience the wonder of the stars.
Ironically, NEIL ARMSTRONG earned a pilot’s license: Before he had even acquired a driver’s license. He grew up to become a test pilot and flew over 200 different types of Aircraft; along with 79 combat missions during the Korean Police Action. From many of his fellow pilots in the U.S. Military; he was selected in 1962 to become a part of the relatively new “NASA.” “OUR, “Space Program”.
He spent years of rigorous training before being officially qualified as an “ASTRONAUT;” to represent America in the world-wide Space Race. All of his service to his Country was conducted with only the pay of a Military Officer. He was not offered, not did he request, the enormous salaries of millions of dollars, that athletes of the same period enjoyed.
He was Commander of the space craft Genimi-8, when a thrust-er rocket malfunctioned. He remained cool and calm as he informed the space command of the crisis with the now famous; “HOUSTON: WE HAVE A PROBLEM:” Calling on all his knowledge and experience, he successfully brought the space craft safely home.
His calm announcement of, (“Houston, We have a problem.”), has been quoted by many of us “Earthlings” when we experience a mistake or a malfunction of some product. “Hundreds of “PARATROOPERS;” (Myself, included); felt safer, if “NEIL” had drawn the unsavory task of piloting us to the appointed, “DROP ZONE.”
On July 20, 1969, a static-filled, voice reverberated from radios throughout the world. “Tranquility Base Here;” “The Eagle Has Landed.” This was followed with the immortal words; “ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN!” – “ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND!” At age 38, Neil Armstrong had the distinction of being the first human to set foot on the SURFACE OF THE MOON.
The well known Officer continued to serve his Country as an Astronaut until he retired in 1971; to teach Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati for another decade. He had certainly earned the right to a more leisurely lifestyle; but he felt that sharing his knowledge and experience with other “Wannabe’s” would make their transition from student to Astronaut much easier.
However, on August 25, 2012, Neil Armstrong took his ultimate flight to join other “World Hero’s” in their Heavenly Homes.
Neil passed away as a result of cardiovascular problems at age 82. America, as well as the entire world mourns the passing of another True American HERO. All Americans; and many other Countries, continue to send their condolences and prayers to the family of our “HERO:” “NEIL ARMSTRONG.” the real; “(MAN ON THE MOON.)” His career will serve as a beacon; to inspire others to make “GIANT LEAP’S FOR MANKIND.”