“Young girl in Calcutta
Barely eight years old
The flies that swarm the market place
Will see she don’t get old
Don’t you know she heard it
On that July afternoon
She heard a man named Armstrong
Had walked upon the moon”
Lyrics by John Stewart.
I am quite sure that everyone over the age of 50 can tell you where they were on that July day in 1969 when man first walked on the moon. If you are not old enough or if you just want to relive that time watch this video.
I know where I was. In a Holiday Inn in Montreal. Having arrived with 2 small children from New Zealand via the UK, we were ensconced in two units while we decided on where to buy a house. It was a very warm day and the children were playing outside and paddling in the pool waiting for me so that they could go into the swimming pool, while I sat goggle-eyed watching the scratchy video footage on this amazing event.
The audio and vision of the great moment came to us all through the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station just outside Canberra, from where it went right around the planet and people everywhere stopped what they were doing to marvel at this feat.
And over the years we have heard little or nothing about Neil Armstrong, the reluctant celebrity. He lived his life quietly in Ohio away from the glare of publicity. Then in 2011, Alex Malley the CEO of CPA Australia scooped a rare interview with Armstrong. The interview was to mark the 125th year of CPA existence. In fact, the interview was broadcast in four parts and was aired in Australia and worldwide.
During the interview, Armstrong talked about his love of flying and his determination to get a pilot’s licence at 15, his feelings about being part of the US Space Programme and how it was to land on the moon.
And now we hear that this stellar figure of modern history (if history can be termed modern) had died following cardiac surgery at the age of 82. His family called him a “reluctant American hero who served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut.”
“And I wonder if a long time ago
Somewhere in the universe
They watched a man named Adam
Walk upon the earth”
- Neil Armstrong, a video look back at a space pioneer (gigaom.com)
- Neil Armstrong Dies; First Man on Moon Was 82 (thehollywoodgossip.com)