Publication:West Bend Daily News; Date:Aug 28, 2012; Section:Opinion; Page Number:A6
Well above and certainly way beyond
Neil Armstong a reminder of U.S. exceptionalism
“I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” — Neil Armstrong
I fully intended to write this column about another Armstrong and his fall from grace, but instead I’ll write about another Armstrong and his rise to it. Neil Armstrong passed away last week at the age of 82. He didn’t waste a heartbeat of his life.
I admit that I’m a complete space geek. I attended Space Camp, Space Camp II, Space Academy and Aviation Challenge, and Armstrong was an inspiration to all of us. Armstrong has been one of my heroes and has shaped my life. I wish I had had the opportunity to shake his hand. I can’t say that about very many people.
As a child of Ohio, Armstrong grew up in the shadow of the Wright brothers. It seems almost unremarkable that he loved to soar early and became a student pilot at the age of 16. While attending Purdue University on a Navy scholarship, Armstrong was called to duty in the Korean War in 1949. During that war, he flew 78 combat missions and helped lead America into the jet age.
After the war, Armstrong returned to Purdue to graduate with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He went on to become a test pilot and flew just about everything that could fly at the time. He also flew a mission with Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier.
Read more about Neil Armstrong at The West Bend Daily News.
Owen B. Robinson, a West Bend resident, is a blogger who publishes at Boots and Sabers. His column runs Tuesdays in the Daily News.