A fine man passes.
Neil Armstong died the other day, leaving two legacies.
In an age of celebrity culture where selling out for a quick buck is the accepted norm, Armstrong conducted his life with discretion and humility. His greatest legacy is the character of the man which said only the very best about what it means to be an American. Unlike that other Armstrong, a common liar and cheat adulated by many, Neil Armstrong was a real man.
His second legacy, and no lesser than the first, is that he took the most wonderful photograph of the twentieth century. In that turbulent decade of the 1960s, watching men walk on the moon was the most thrilling confirmation of my belief in the greatness of America to which I immigrated some 8 years later, easily the smartest thing I ever did.
Buzz Aldrin, photographed by Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969.
You can read about Armstrong’s gear here and, yes, it’s still available, free. You just have to get to the moon to retrieve it.