That title, coming our way via Mark Shea, is more than an apt description of Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon.
Mark called the man "as significant a figure in the history of human exploration as Columbus, Magellan, or Cook" and I can't think of any sensible person disagreeing with that assessment.
A little more than a year ago, commemorating the 42nd anniversary of that walk on the moon, I wrote about my remembrances:
I was a 9 year old boy, living in Spain with my Spanish grandparents (Dad was stationed in nearby Torrejon Air Base, my birthplace) and I distinctly remember being awakened to join the entire family in watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon while Michael Collins orbited above them, awaiting their safe return to the Command module and eventually, hopefully Earth. It was exhilarating, scary, exciting and something I'll never forget. Little did I know that a couple of months later, I'd have the opportunity to briefly see allthree of them in person in Madrid as part of their worldwide tour, a junket purposed in highlighting that great achievement. I actually stood within 20 or 30 feet of men who had been to another world, catching a glimpse of them each through the crowd that had gathered, my Dad making sure that I had the opportunity to lay my eyes on them all. I was enthralled. I wanted right then and there to be an Astronaut. I wanted to be Neil Armstrong. Hell, I still do.
I mourn the passing of a giant in history. The world mourns that loss. And his family has released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
“Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
“Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
“He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
“As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
“While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
The video below I posted as part of that 42nd commemorative post and I post it again today. It's nearly 30 minutes in length but well worth watching again if only to relive that "titanic civilizational achievement" one more time.
God rest the soul of Neil Armstrong and comfort loved ones left behind.