CINCINNATI – Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described “nerdy” engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with the first step on the moon.
The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.
Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.
He was the common man reaching for the stars to do the most uncommon things. He was a hero. He was part of the most pivotal day of my life.
It was the very day Neil Armstrong stepped upon the surface of the Moon that I met and fell in love at first sight with my beloved wife of almost 43 years. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. It was in old Saugus, Ca at the Oasis Park in old Soledad Canyon. Scores of teens swimming in the Park pool but only one caught my eye. I was forever hers. It was listening on the Radio at a picnic bench in the Hot July afternoon of his landing that brought two star crossed lovers together.
Neil Armstrong’s monumental achievement has been the beacon of our love. It marked a change in Mankind and the beginning of a journey that has led Fay and I down the road to where we are now. Ups and downs, successes and failures, like Neil Armstrong we braved the unknown and planted our flag upon our little part of (family) history.
When we heard the news of Neil Armstrong’s death, both of us were moved to tears. We hugged. We cried a little. We remember our youth. We move on…
Rest in Peace, Neil Armstrong.
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