Neil Armstrong (August 5th, 1930 - August 25th, 2012)
Earlier today, August 25th, 2012, Neil Armstrong took his last, small, final step on Planet Earth. The first human to walk on another heavenly body, an astronaut with an impeccable record of service to his country, he will be sorely missed. Respected for his humility as well as his calm courage, he received national fame and recognition for his achievements as the first man to walk on the moon, on July 20th, 1969. Known internationally as a symbol of the best of the Kennedy Era of New Frontiers, Science, and human achievement, Armstrong remained an ambassador of Man's commitment to achievement in space, and a stalwart defender of American preeminence in Space.
In recent years Armstrong emerged as a leader of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts in a defense of NASA and the Constellation program, against the crippling and savage cuts made by President Obama. Obama did not respond to the calls from the greatest of our American astronauts, in fact even as the Mars Curiosity Rover successfully landed earlier this month, the future of our space science program has had it's budget cut almost to the point of non-existence. Armstrong came from a generation that not only dared to dream of the progress of man and a future among the stars, but he was courageous enough to fight, even his own president, when an issue of the life or death of our Republic arose.
Armstrong's mortal body has passed from this world, but his contribution to human history does not simply rest on Earth alone. It is up to us if his legacy will remain. His was the first, the great achievement of a generation now almost lost from our mortal ranks. His life is gone, merely a step in the larger path of human progress. If we choose to honor this great American Hero, this great man who paved the way for a nation to say "it can be done," then we may begin a new giant leap for mankind.
Neil Armstrong now rests among the Stars.