In MANY ways, he is the most identifiable icon of “the American
century,” and therefore, he will be one of the most identifiable icons
in all of world history… for even thousands of years to come. There
simply will never be another first step onto another world in the
Even though it was Kennedy who tragically lost his life while still
young, and so unified the American resolve to be the first on the
moon, it still seems to me that Neil Armstrong will be the Pharaoh who
will rest in the great American pyramid, built by Werner Von Braun,
NASA, American resources, and called Apollo..
The base of that pyramid extends all the way back to WW II, and Jesse
Owens, and encompasses the electronics revolution and the age of
communication, and so reaches even further back to the very inception
of Ben Franklin’s kite flying, and the discovery of electricity. And
of course passes through all of aviation history, the Wright brothers
and Kitty Hawk, internal combustion, automobiles, the industrial
revolution, and so much more..
Not just Western Civ. We didn’t just beat the Russians either – we
even beat the Chinese at riding on our fireworks through the sky. Our
guys sparklered all the way to the moon, went for a ride on an ancient
beach, collected rocks in their pockets, fired up and came home alive
to tell the tale!.
That pyramid includes the digital revolution – music on a 78, to music
on a flash drive, to music broadcast from a satellite in the sky,
albeit a lossy format. And, it includes singing Beatles on Ed
Sullivan, made possible by those birds flying transcontinental in a
way no lone Beatle ever could. Alot of people really flew high through
the 1960’s social uprisings..
Because of the digital revolution – under the pyramid – the post
office, books, and newspapers, are on the verge of extinction. I guess
that is the forward edge of the pyramid. This mornings headline in the
hardcopy of Huntsville Times, announcing Armstrong’s obituary, could
very well be the last major national headline that newspaper will ever
print on paper..
They say Neil Armstrong didn’t much care for publicity, coveted his
privacy, and I suppose might have even felt a little sheepish over the
adoration he received for flying a rocket, when so many of his
personal aviation accomplishments as a test pilot seemed to have
required even more skill and acumen. He would not like being deified
in any sense. And yet… he will live on in the hearts and minds and
history books, the E-editions too mind you, for as long as any other
immortal spirit mankind has ever created..
The eagle has landed, but Neil Armstrong will never leave the building..
© 2012 – Jim Casey
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