• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Heritage Remembers Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

    On June 13, 2008, my wife and I were driving home from a Washington party. The University of Edinburgh, my Alma Mater, had recognized the singular achievement of Neil Armstrong, and our Principal, Sir Timothy O’Shea, had conferred an honorary degree on him. Linda and I witnessed the event and then joined a small group hosted by the British Ambassador for a dinner in Armstrong’s honor. Linda sat next to the honoree and had a lively conversation with him.  On that ride home, I asked her: “Why are you so excited about tonight’s event?  We’ve been to a lot of Washington dinners over the years.” Her immediate reply was: “To be with Neil Armstrong, and to dine with the first person to walk on the moon, is to be with a real hero. It is to know someone who has gone where no one has ever gone before, and done what no one has ever done before.”

    That says it all.

    Neil Armstrong, you are The American Spirit!  May you rest in peace.

    Sincerely,

    Ed Feulner
    President, The Heritage Foundation

    **Please leave your own memories in the comments below**

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Heritage Remembers Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

    1. Bobbie says:

      It's absolutely fascinating what the good of mankind comes to know. The moon is so magnificent in sight with the unbelievable ability to go from here to there and every intricate detail that goes into it coming from the intellect of mankind's own and when time calls for the bravery to carry it out from start to never end! God Bless!

    2. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The conspiracy theorists say that we never walked on the moon. Since their claims were dismissed by both the
      National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel's series Myth Busters, they haven't stopped. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. He didn't walk on the moon on some top secret sound stage in
      New Mexico, a la Capricorn One, to "prove" to the Soviets we actually walked on the moon. The Soviets would
      have known. Benjamin Franklin said it: "Three people can keep a secret provided two are dead." Mafia translation: "Dead men tell no tales."

      • USAFVET says:

        If you ever worked in the space industry you would never doubt that Neil Armstrongs moon walk was a fact. I worked in that industry for 3 years, and believe me, it happened. God bless you Neil, and may he give you rest.

    3. quipster says:

      I can still remember watching it on tv the first steps on the moon. Neil was one brave man.

    4. Michael Barry says:

      Nice story. But it's unfortunate that Heritage's war on science and determination to cut federal spending on student aid (Mr. Armstrong earned his aeronautical engineering degrees thanks to the G.I. Bill) may make it difficult for future Neil Armstrongs to have similar opportunities. If you truly want to honor Mr. Armstrong's heroic legacy, perhaps you should consider doing more to help students and stop laying science at the altar of political gain.

    5. Michael Barry says:

      Nice story. But it's unfortunate that Heritage's war on science and determination to cut federal spending on student aid (Mr. Armstrong earned his aeronautical engineering degrees thanks to the G.I. Bill) may make it difficult for future Neil Armstrongs to have similar opportunities. If you truly want to honor Mr. Armstrong's heroic legacy, perhaps you should consider doing more to help students and stop laying science at the altar of political gain.

      • shaun evertson says:

        Do you honestly believe that the government, a la warren/obama, built Neil Armstrong?

    6. shaun evertson says:

      As an eight year-old boy I watched as much of the coverage of the Apollo 11 mission as possible. For the landing itself my family and I watched on a neighbor's television — one of the few color sets in our small, Nebraska Panhandle town. The irony of watching grainy black and white images on an expensive color set didn't strike me until years later. I was completely captured by the drama of the mission; even at my young age I recognized the fundamental nature of this grand moment and that I was witness to the pinnacle of human achievement. Later, when the initial moon walk coverage ended, I stepped outside into the warm embrace of the July evening and looked up at the waxing gibbous moon. The realization that Armstrong and Aldrin were really up there hit me hard. I looked and looked, as hard as I could, and was only slightly disappointed that I could see no sign of Tranquility Base. Though I couldn't have articulated it at the time I had a visceral understanding of the incredible strides made by our national space program in the eight years of my nascent lifetime. To go from fumbling attempts at orbiting a tiny satellite to the moon in a few short years was incredible. Godspeed, Neil Armstrong.

    7. Larry W. Elrod says:

      Neil Armstrong a real hard working American. RIP

    8. David says:

      As a Boilermaker, I am greatly saddened by the passing of an American (and Purdue) Icon! I never had the honor of meeting him but always heard of his graciousness & his unassuming character. To quote General Patton: It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

      Thank you Lord that you gave America Neil Armstrong. Rest in peace, fine sir!

    9. Joe C says:

      I was privileged to meet Neil Armstrong briefly in 2001 when he graciously accepted the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. I was surprised to note that his famous public reticence seemed not to result from shyness. As Mrs. Fuelner observed, Armstrong was at ease in the company of people, even in crowds, and a comfortable speaker. His determination to avoid the limelight seems to have been motivated by an intense desire to keep things in perspective, even his own contribution to the first lunar landing. He was a gracious American hero, the kind we hope for. His life enriched us all.

    10. David says:

      He showed great dignity in his request to be out of the limelight, and was probably one of the very few where the press actually acceded to it. Letting one's actions speak louder than one's words should be a lesson for everyone.

      He "now belongs to the Ages. God Bless, and Godspeed, Commander Armstrong.

    11. Republichic says:

      I can't imagine anyone who witnessed the landing on the moon could not be affected by Neil Armstrong's passing away. I was 16 years old, and I well remember my entire family glued to the TV. My Father actually teared up, which made my Mother and myself do the same. The moon landing and walk were beyond words. Even now, I can remember the excitement and the concern that the entire mission would go as planned. The memories of the stress we felt until everyone was back together again in the module and headed back home. Was there ever a more beautiful picture than our American flag on the moon and the picture of earth so far away? Luckily, I saved the newspaper article. Over the years, I have run across that article gently placed between plastic to guard against dust and moisture. Now, that article is even more precious to me. I never had the opportunity to meet any of those astronauts but, if I had I would have hugged them for their courage and looked at them with awe for the journey they provided for America and the rest of the world. Rest in peace Neil Armstrong. You will not be forgotten.

    12. Mark says:

      A great and humble man. A real hero.

    13. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      I remember where I was when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. I was in Regina, Saskatchewan, in the
      living room of my great uncle.

    14. historianMI says:

      Let us remember and revere Neil Armstrong as a hero who,with his partner, risked everything, to be leaders in the effort to allow America to be first to place someone on the surface of the moon, and bring him back. He (they) was (were) authentic heroes of the Great American Era, demonstrating our peaceful intentions to advance science for the good of the entire world. It can be posited that the Space Station owes much to the technology which put these two brave men on the moon, with their partner in the Command Module waiting and, I believe, praying that the lunar capsule would bring them back up to the Command Module and thence back to earth. I hope and trust that we shall see people of their caliber again—we certainly need them.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×