BenTha'er-Horizons

Neal Armstrong

The Eagle Has Landed at 44

I should have caught this and made note 2 days ago. It was the 44th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, or “The Eagle Has Landed” on Saturday. On that day 44 years ago, I was in West Berlin, Germany on a People to People Ambassador Tour. We saw the news on a television in the visiting are of the hotel we were at. As this article comments, it was a mere 66 years from the flight of the Kitty Hawk to the moon landing and walk. How unbelievable is that?!
Enjoy the memories.
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Fly Me to the Moon

The National Cathedral in Washington DC held a national memorial for Neal Armstrong today. Diana Krall sang “Fly Me To The Moon”. It is good to think of times that were of a serious bent where our national will and interest was promoted and applauded. We could do what was considered impossible, not just spoken about and then left to molder as current times. Neal Armstrong will be buried at sea. His family’s wish for him is that everyone will take time to wink at the moon. Here is an example of his subtle humor, to me the best kind. Humor carries us through each day.

Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, recalled that Armstrong was once asked how he felt when he was guiding the Eagle lunar module down to the moon's surface with only 15 seconds' worth of fuel left. The way Cernan remembered the story, Armstrong thought for a moment and answered, "Well, when the gauge says empty, we all know there's a gallon or two left in the tank." When the laughter subsided, Cernan added, "Now there is a man who has always been in control of his own destiny. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is vintage Neil Armstrong."

Wink at the Moon……

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You Are My People

I keep coming across interesting comments by Neal Armstrong. There was a one hour show on Discovery Channel about the moon landing and a bit of personal history on Neal Armstrong. He was known as a shy and unassuming yet brilliant person. His home town of Wahkeponeta, OH has the Neal Armstrong Air and Space Museum. There was a short segment where he gave a “thank you” speech after the landing at his home town where he said with a shy smile, “You are my people and I am proud to be one of you”. What a heartwarming testimony to his roots!
IMG_1773Full moon through our birch tree
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Blue Moon Month

I am going to continue the theme around Neal Armstrong tonight. This month is a Blue Moon month. There will be a full moon twice this month which is a circumstance that happens every 3 years or so. Right now, there is an almost full moon up in the sky to the east. There was a full moon on August 1 and another will occur August 31. Hopefully, I can get more photos.

There was today a letter shared that had three outstanding paragraphs Neal Armstrong had written. It is an inspiration for our future and also another way to look at those Horizons……………….

In my work I depended on many people. In space flight, whether it be a fellow crewman or a flight controller in mission control on Earth, I was often trusting that person with my life. When you depend on others, you want to be able to trust them. You’ll want to know that they say what they mean and they mean what they say. And they will want to feel the same about you. Your word should always be beyond question.

There is much uncertainty to life. Good health may be taken away from you without warning. Material possessions may be lost due to circumstances beyond your control. The one thing that cannot be taken from you without your consent is your character, which includes your beliefs, your ethics, and your principles. So guard them with care. They are your most valuable possessions.

The 21st century has much promise. Remarkable things may be created and achieved, and each of you will have the opportunity to play a role in achieving and creating a better world. I know you will true. Good luck. I wish I had your future.

Neil Armstrong
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Man On The Moon

There are a number of postings showing up today about the speech written by William Safire in 1969 that Richard Nixon had in hand but did not have to give. This speech has been remembered due to the death of Neal Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

I was 17 and on a People to People tour of Europe when the first moon landing came about. My first memory was being at our hotel in Berlin Germany (in those days, divided into free and communist sides by the Berlin Wall). There was news coverage of the moon landing on an old television at the hotel showing the astronauts on the moon. Being so far from home and unable to understand German on the TV made it difficult to absorb the significance. It was only later in reading of the complexity of the landing does one understand the heroism and nature of our astronauts. I also remember this high point for our country in the news was also in counterpoint to a low of news of Teddy Kennedy’s behavior at Chappaquidick MA. The Lion of the Senate could not and should never overcome the disgrace of what happened that night in my opinion. From heroes to cowards in the news in such a short time period.

Back to the speech that never was spoken (and we can be thankful to God it never was)………….

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
DSC_4530Where are you tonight Neal Armstrong?
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