In Memoriam: Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
—Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

—John Gillespie Magee, Jr, “High Flight”

Neil Armstrong–the first man on the moon, a man of courage and calm in the face of extraordinary danger–died today. I couldn’t help but offer a small tribute to him this evening.

Mr. Armstrong was a hero not only to America, but in our home as well. My sister studied the Apollo Program and the individual astronauts with enthusiastic interest, and thanks to her, Neil Armstrong and his fellow pioneers have been like old friends.

Neil Armstrong’s death brought genuine sadness to everyone of us when we found out about it this afternoon. Nevertheless, we’re thanking the Lord tonight for raising up Mr. Armstrong (and all the Apollo astronauts) for their undaunted courage as they travelled the long distance to “the lesser light” that rules the night.

3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

    1. He seemed like such a humble and kindly man, and a very, VERY level-headed one. Emmy (my sister) told us a story she read about him…he was at his dairy farm (called “Rivendell,” after the Elves’ haven in The Lord of the Rings) and he got his wedding ring caught on some kind of machinery. It ripped his finger clean off. Instead of going into a conniption, however, Mr. Armstrong calmly picked up the severed finger and drove himself to the hospital where it was reattached without a cinch, and he was no worse for the wear. And then of course he nearly ran out of fuel while he was trying to land the LEM on the Moon, but he was able to maneuver around a boulder field and land with only a few seconds to spare–all without loosing his patience or his composure. He never tried to profit from his fame–he always deflected the glory away from himself, even while he was on the Moon! “One small step for man”–he didn’t even think it was all about himself. The Lord placed just the right man in that amazing position.

      *heavy sigh* Call me strange, but I’m really and truly sad about this. The longer I think about it the more I realize what a significant event it is. The first man on the moon–an American hero of sterling character–one of the last of his kind–he died. It’s the end of an era 😦

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      1. You are not strange, I feel the same. He was a great man and a great American. The world has lost one of it’s brightest stars.

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