The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, has passed away at the age of 82. Armstrong was a part of a generation of astronauts that were attempting feats that had not been thought possible only a decade before. When President John F. Kennedy proclaimed that America would send a man to the moon by the end of the 1960s, NASA was still in its infancy and had just begun sending humans into space. Although Kennedy would not live to see the challenge met, America did beat the Russians to the moon on July 20, 1969. With Apollo 11, Armstrong became the first human being to step foot on a surface that was not Earth. It was a truly historic moment. Millions watched around the world as Armstrong famously said, “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Those watching the broadcast on CBS, heard Walter Cronkite narrate the events as he too was in awe of the events he was witnessing. This broadcast has become one of the defining moments of the 20th century. It was on that night in 1969 when Armstrong’s immortality was assured.
Today, NASA no longer directs manned space missions, and it is not likely they will resume any time soon. A man has not walked on the surface of the Moon since 1972, but the images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 mission will remind us of what is possible when we try. When we work hard, we can accomplish anything, no matter how impossible it may seem. Neil Armstrong will always be a symbol for what the United States is capable of, and that is one hell of a legacy.