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Share Your Reflections on Neil Armstrong, Who Died Today

The first astronaut to walk on the moon died today at age 82.

The Apollo 11 astronaut died after complications following cardiac bypass surgery, according to news reports.

Share your memories of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969.

Where were you and what do you remember from that historic moment?

Esmée St James August 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM
What courage Neil had to be the first man on the moon. That was such a defining moment for mankind and he did it! I remember watching that on TV when I was a kid and even then, grasping the meaning of it. Incredible.
L.A. Chung August 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I can still remember the transmission of the broadcast: "One small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind." It was truly historic. And I remember that we had, indeed, landed a man on the moon, before the decade was out, as President John F. Kennedy had set as our nation's goal. Do children still dream of being astronauts? I hope they do.
Roger Adams August 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I can recall listening on the radio when when Neil and the crew landed on the moon. What a wonderful moment in this country's history. I wrote to Mr. Armstrong for his autograph about a year after this historic event and he signed (2) 3X5 cards for me. Today his autograph is so expensive. R. Adams
Sally Katz August 25, 2012 at 09:08 PM
My memories of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man on the moon? Because of his careful gardening, my dad's Southern Californian back yard was cooler than most places on that very hot July 20th; few people we knew could afford air conditioning. So, he linked a series of extension chords in order to get our 13" black-and-white TV out to the large, tree-shaded patio. Our family of five, along with the neighbors from both sides next door and their kids, all huddled around the small screen, transfixed. Little ones pushed forward to see while parents shushed, trying to hear. I was twelve, and tall, and well positioned, sitting crosslegged right in front of the TV. We weren't allowed to watch TV during the school year except on weekends, so we made up for it during the summer, but this was clearly special--everyone was watching, and the TV had been on for days, watching updates of the flight. I remember thinking that this was the longest the TV had been on in our house other than the two Kennedy assassinations and being grateful that this time it was for a positive, constructive and hopeful thing.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz August 25, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I Def' remember Neil Armstrong growing up as being the First Man On The Moon! RIP Neil. My condolences to his Family.
Daniel Bobay August 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM
He was one heck of a cool headed pilot bringing the lunar module to rest with no fuel to spare. I was in middle school and this was supposed to be where our country was headed I the future and Neil Armstrong was out hero. He remains one of the few real American Hero's of our time.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) August 26, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I wish I could have shared the experience of that first moment. But he definitely inspired a whole generation!
Cathy Weselby August 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM
I agree, he is a true American hero! He flew that lunar module standing up--that's how it was designed. If you ever get a chance to tour NASA Ames Research Center in Mtn. View, you can see the Vertical Motion Simulator and a mock up of the LEM, that Armstrong and Aldrin and Collins used to practice landing on the moon before the real event.
Ellen Wheeler August 26, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Sometimes the word is over-used, but we know a real hero when we see one. America lost a real hero today, and we are all poorer for it. Thank you, Neil Armstrong. RIP.
carol musser August 26, 2012 at 02:46 AM
For those of who are old enough, we witnessed one of life's defining moments and we knew it. We know exactly where we were while watching our small black and white TV along with 600 million of the world's population as Armstrong and Aldrin stepped foot on the moon. Such a mind boggling accomplishment. It is so vivid and to think it was 43 years ago. We do not forget who Neil Armstrong is and what a remarkable man he was.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) August 26, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Thanks for adding the local angle Cathy! I knew there had to be a connection here at Ames!
Jane Darwin August 26, 2012 at 05:15 AM
I will always remember where I was and who I was with at that moment in time. We were driving along the Oregon coast with my dad desperately looking for a motel with TV. We stopped, checked in and watched the whole thing unfold. Amazing.
Maria Ristow August 26, 2012 at 07:58 AM
I remember how amazing it was to be able to HEAR Neil Armstrong speaking from the MOON. Watching the grainy image on television and knowing that the next time I walked out at night and looked at the moon it would never be the same. I wondered what Neil Armstrong felt when he looked up at the moon later, knowing his footprints were up there. I also remember the laugh my classmates and I shared when we read our science textbook a few months later and it said, "someday man may even land on the moon." What I feel more now is how humble and heroic Neil Armstrong was. He did not take personal credit for his steps on the moon, but implied how much he stood on the shoulders of those before him. Truly a hero.
Dave Colby (Editor) August 26, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Our families may have had that same 13" black-and-white TV, Sally. I think ours was a GE. My family was at our summer cottage in Wisconsin, and watched from the back porch, through an already fuzzy tv signal, the amazing step from the lunar module onto the surface of the moon. All of us were awestruck; no one could speak. We could only look at each other in stunned amazement. Almost like the weekend after Kennedy was shot, and the non-stop tv coverage for four days. There are some things that make an impression on you that never go away; the moon landing was clearly one of them.
Dan Manassau August 26, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Growing up in the 50s space flight was just scifi fantasy. Then within a decade it was real. I God Bless America and Neil for making our dreams possible.
Frank Geefay August 26, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I too have fawn memories of Neal Armstrong and all the astronauts going into space. I am a science buff and watched everything I could about the space program on TV. I clearly remember the first step onto the moon by Neal Armstrong. These were the cold war days when America was racing to beat the Soviet Union into space. It gave me an extra sense of being proud to be an American when that was less popular due to the Vietnam War. At that time there was amazingly far less stagnation in Congress in spite of great social conflicts surpassing today's economic conflicts. These were the days of the Cold War, the Arms Race, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights, days which tore America apart. These times brought the best out of us such as Neal Armstrong and Civil Rights but also the worst out of us as in the treatment of Civil Rights demonstrators and the Vietnam War and war veterans. These were the days when human life seemed cheaper and more expendable. Neal Armstrong and other Astronauts momentarily caused us to poise to value human life when thousands of Americans were dying in Vietnam and on the street of America. Contrasted to today those were very dark times yet government managed to function. Have we learned any lessons from this American experience? Has this stopped us from engaging in more wars abroad? Has this given us a better appreciation of what we now have? Perhaps honoring the passing of Neal Armstrong will cause us to ponder his real contributions.
randy albin August 26, 2012 at 08:28 PM
there are still those who think that the astronaut walking on the moon was a hoax. look at where the u.s. is now after all of this space exploration. can tax dollars be better spent than on this expensive exploration or defense fighting useless wars. these astronauts go out there and risk their lives for what?
Sally Katz August 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM
High-resolution satellite photography and retroreflectors (mirrors on the moon that lasers can bounce off of) clearly debunk the moon-walk hoax conspiracies. As for better use of tax dollars than defense spending, yes, but to lump space exploration with that makes little sense. Space exploration is constructive rather than destructive and beyond its own value has many pragmatic applications here on earth--the CATscan was developed, as were MRIs, robotic technology now used in surgeries, defibrillators and dialysis machines--all those technologies were developed via space explorations, and those are just medical applications. How about microwave ovens, cordless tools, ATM technology, teflon, and solar technology advancements? The current Mars Rover Curiosity mission costs about $7.00 per person in the U.S.--I call that a bargain compared to the way a lot of our tax dollars are spent.
Sally Katz August 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Hi, Randy--I wish you well; my post, which is below yours, was intended as a respectful reply to the question asked in your post. --Sally

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