RIP, Neil Armstrong.

Neil Armstrong has died at the age of 82.

To shamelessly alter and abridge the contingency speech prepared by William Safire in case Apollo 11 were to fail:

“Fate has ordained that the man who first went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the Earth to rest in peace.

He will be mourned by his families and friends; he will be mourned by his nation; he will be mourned by the people of the world; he will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send her sons into the unknown.

Others have followed, and found their way home. Still others may follow in future, or may follow and fly still further to set foot on other worlds. Humanity’s search will not be denied.

But this man was first, and he will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will again be reminded:   that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”

Ave et Vale.

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