Saturday, August 25, 2012

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong


I suppose my earliest memory is of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. I was three years old. I don't remember watching it on TV. It was past my bedtime. But I remember my older brothers and sisters showing me the newspapers the next day, and attempting (futilely, I'm sure) to explain to me the significance of the event.

I have a theory that, in 500 years, the person from the 20th century who will be best remembered will be Neil Armstrong. Think about it: The evils of some and the heroism of others will lose all context in five centuries. But what Neil Armstrong did can be explained by simply pointing at the moon hanging in the nighttime sky and saying, "He was the first person to touch that."