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  6/20: Memorial service for Neil Armstrong (JSC)

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Author Topic:   6/20: Memorial service for Neil Armstrong (JSC)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-14-2013 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Announces Memorial Service for Astronaut Neil Armstrong

NASA will honor the life and historic achievements of astronaut Neil Armstrong during a memorial service at 10 a.m. CDT Thursday, June 20, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, when he became the first person to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 11.

JSC Director Ellen Ochoa, fellow Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, family members and longtime associates will pay tribute to Armstrong. He was 82 when he died on Aug. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati.

Armstrong made two trips into space. He made his first journey in 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8 mission. On July 16, 1969, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins launched in Apollo 11 on a mission that went down in the history books. Four days later, the world watched as the lunar module "Eagle" separated from the command module and began its descent to the lunar surface. About 6.5 hours after landing on the moon, Armstrong, at age 38, became the first person to set foot on the moon, uttering the now-famous phrase: "That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

A tree dedication ceremony at the Memorial Tree Grove will follow the service.

(I do not believe this service will be open to the public — there is no public access to the memorial grove — but collectSPACE will provide coverage of the ceremony.)

Tony Guidry
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Posts: 14
From: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 06-17-2013 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tony Guidry   Click Here to Email Tony Guidry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am somewhat disappointed to hear that the JSC Memorial Service for astronaut Neil Armstrong will probably not be open to the public and also a bit puzzled as to why they waited nearly 10 months before scheduling it.

One of my most memorable visits to JSC was being able to attend the memorial service for astronaut Alan Shepard in early August 1998, just a couple of weeks after his death. I had seen published information about the planned service for Shepard about a week or so prior to its scheduled date, but it also was initially planned to be closed to the general public.

Through a series of email communications with one of the JSC Public Affairs representatives, I learned that Mr. George Abbey, who was JSC director at that time, decided, at the last minute, to open the event to the general public, although not everyone was in agreement with his decision, according to the Public Affairs rep.

That Saturday morning, we made the 4-hour drive to JSC, arriving plenty early enough for the 1:00 pm service. As I recall, they allowed the Shepard family and friends, current and former astronauts and JSC workers priority seating in Teague auditorium and only then did they allow the relatively few members of the general public who were present to be seated.

The surviving Mercury astronauts at the time (Glenn, Schirra, Carpenter and Cooper) and Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell all spoke fondly about Shepard and the years they spent working together. After the service, all the attendees were invited to walk out to the Memorial Tree Grove where we witnessed the planting and dedication of the tree for Astronaut Shepard and a flyover by the NASA T-38 jets. I was able to record the entire event on video and still have it, somewhere in my collection of tapes.

I would hope that the current JSC Director, Ellen Ochoa, would consider doing like Mr. Abbey did 15 years ago and allow those of us in the general public who are space enthusiasts and supporters to attend this historic event, although I certainly understand that post 9/11 security considerations may not allow for it.

In recent years, it appears, however, that JSC and its security people have become somewhat more accommodating to the general public by allowing such events such as the annual Ballunar festival and NASA Open House to once again be held on the grounds of JSC, where the public has relatively open access to numerous buildings on the JSC campus. To the best of my knowledge, none of these events have ever created any serious security problems for JSC and everyone in attendance (including myself!) really enjoyed the exhibits and presentations by the JSC workers.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-17-2013 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tony Guidry:
I am somewhat disappointed to hear that the JSC Memorial Service for astronaut Neil Armstrong will probably not be open to the public and also a bit puzzled as to why they waited nearly 10 months before scheduling it.
I can confirm, per NASA, that neither the ceremony or tree planting will be open to the public. The ceremony will however be broadcast on NASA TV.

As for the timing, it is usually when the family of the fallen astronaut is available to come to Houston.

Tony Guidry
Member

Posts: 14
From: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 06-17-2013 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tony Guidry   Click Here to Email Tony Guidry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the update, Rob. Regretfully, my schedule for this week would probably not have allowed me to make it down to JSC this Thursday morning, anyway. Regardless, I've already programmed the DVR and am looking forward to seeing your report on the event.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-19-2013 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, due to conflicting schedules, I will not be able to attend tomorrow's ceremony or tree planting ceremony.

The ceremony will be aired on NASA TV and I am told that Johnson Space Center will release photos and video from the tree planting ceremony.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-20-2013 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In conjunction with the memorial service and tree dedication at NASA's Johnson Space Center on June 20, 2013, the center created this video honoring the legacy of Neil Armstrong. The video takes a look at the accidental legend that Armstrong became, and the history-making flight that he took with his colleagues Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-20-2013 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A superbly written piece. My favorite:
Can one man change history? Without a doubt. But history never changed this man.

Charlie16
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Posts: 320
From: Italy
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 06-20-2013 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Charlie16   Click Here to Email Charlie16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For not to forget a man who changed history, but that has not been changed by history. Goodspeed Neil!

Neil Armstrong memorial and tree planting ceremony today at JSC.

pokey
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Posts: 345
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-20-2013 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended the memorial service and tree dedication. Michael Collins' remarks were all about Neil. Stressed his honor, humility and grace. He also said when they were on their post Apollo 11 world tour and in Yugoslavia - at a dinner Tito's wife was bored such that she looked like one of the Easter Island statues (to use his words) and then she absolutely came alive when Neil began discussing Tesla with her. Buzz said some beginning and closing remarks about Neil but used the middle to talk about an asteroid mission (that he wasn't really sure Neil would have endorsed) as a way to look to the future. Lunney said he goes to funerals where people know the person but not what they did. Everyone knows what Neil did but they don't know who he was and everyone should learn from this service what kind of man Neil was and tell everyone that asks them about his many of the stories we heard today. Griffin also spoke of Neil.

According to a Public Affairs person they only printed up 200 programs so they were hesitant to give out more than one per person. That number seems a little low.

After the service we walked over to the tree grove. I am assuming the family wanted one of the large trees near the grove dedicated to Neil. I think there are 4 of these trees that predate the grove and are quite large. I believe this is the first time a tree was not planted in an astronaut's memory since the founding of the grove. Fossum spoke and told his his Boy Scout troop made the cement lunar boot print that was placed at the base of Neil's tree. Neil's two sons told some stories about their father. After the missing man formation flew over the ceremony was pretty much over so I looked back across the field I crossed to get to the grove and I noticed numerous dragon flies hovering around our gathering. Then I thought about Collins saying that not only did Neil love the real planes he knew everything about the models and building them, etc. So I wondered if Neil was ever fascinated with a dragon fly's motions. When I began to cross the field a noticed hundreds of dragon flies had come out of seemingly no where and were flying around the field. I asked someone else if they noticed the dragon flies on their way to the grove and they said they saw none. We thought it might be because the field had just become slightly shaded by a cloud and that was an invitation to the insects. But to me the hundreds of tiny little dragon flies seemed so much like a beautiful end to the event.

ozspace
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Posts: 84
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2009

posted 06-20-2013 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ozspace   Click Here to Email ozspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that Buzz did not seem to have any prepared notes and I think he sort of fell into a stock speech he has been using?

Anyway, I don't think a memorial service for Neil Armstrong was the appropriate platform to push his views, especially as they were not shared by Neil.

Mike hit the mark perfectly, as did the other speakers, in my opinion. 5/10 for Dr. Rendezvous...

ejectr
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Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 06-25-2013 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was happy to see Buzz saluting the flag in support of the Veteran Salute vs the hand over the heart.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-25-2013 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pokey:
I attended the memorial service and tree dedication.
Nice report. Thank you.

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