- Posted September 1, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Light Years: Your view of space and stars
Blue Moon Shining for Neil
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
God bless Neil Armstrong and his family and the NASA family he was a part of. Thank you for all of us you have inspired and touched in more ways than will ever be known.
I took a few photos of that poignant Blue Moon late this evening, once the clouds had cleared, just to have one more thing in the collection to remind me of the great things we did as a country, and the great men like Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins and those men before and men and women after that were part of the manned space program. You all are heroes to millions of us.
Born in the late 50's when NASA was starting and growing up in an Air Force family in the 60's, like many boys my age, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts where our absolute heroes but none more than Neil himself.
My father was a bomber pilot, one uncle a fighter pilot, and another was actually one of the paramedics who jumped from the helicopters to retrieve the Gemini astronauts in the Pacific. We were stationed in Hawaii at the time at Hickam AFB. We would see Uncle Lonnie occasionally when he would pass through Pearl Harbor and fly out of Hickam after a Gemini retrieval. I even got to touch a piece of Gemini heat shield once when I was about eight. However, nothing held my imagination more than the Apollo program. It was because of the Apollo missions that I went on to study physics and astronomy in college.
Back to 1969, we were actually in a hotel room in Honolulu on that incredible July 20th day when the Eagle landed. I can remember it almost as vividly today. We were in a hotel because we were waiting to begin a transfer the next day to Massachusetts and Westover AFB.
Our space program, and especially the moon program, has fascinated me for nearly 50 years now. It was and is something to be very proud of as Americans. The men and women of these programs, past, present and future, should be honored, like Neil Armstrong, as the great pioneers and adventurers they truly are!
There is a poem written by another military pilot that many of you will probably know. I think it is one that is surely very fitting to honor Neil Armstrong. There should be a slight change in one phrase though for this purpose, and that is that there was once an Eagle (commanded by an Armstrong) that did top the wind-swept heights and more!
The poem is called High Flight and was written by John Gillespie Magee, Jr in 1941
As I'm not sure what the copyright status of this poem is, I would ask that you go to this site, The National Museum of the US Air Force, to read it. It is well worth the trip.
God Speed Neil Armstrong, God speed! Surely this Blue Moon was meant just for you!