My daughter recently asked me about the moon and I had to tell her something really sad... Ask Grandma about space ships. They used to fly to other planets in the olden days [I know, it's not a planet]. How long before all those hero's are gone?
I grew up in the 70's, and don't remember the moon landings, but we had the legacy - the hope. We were going to all be astronauts (a friend actually applied for a job to be an astronaut!! he got an interview!!!! AWESOME!!!). The shuttle was "coming soon", and by 2010 we were going to have people living on mars. Space flight was real. Now NASA doesn't have any kind of manned flight capability.
The saddest thing I ever heard was George Bush saying "In 30 years we can put a man on the moon". Then he backtracked and said well maybe thats a bit hard.. I don't want the next 20 years of progress to be "using a little less fossil fuel", "the lesser spotted vole numbers increasing", "crowdsourced social mobile app ipo...".
"This very substance shall dissolve in dreams, and dreams renew the substance".
Mr Armstrong made one of the biggest dream of all real - not just as a hero, but as someone who actually had the smarts to make it happen. I'm sad he's gone, but I'm sadder that we let him down. He took the giant step. No one in the next 40 years was big enough to step into those footprints.