To many young people his name and his accomplishment is nothing more than just a footnote in history,  something that happened a long time ago.  But to me, it was something I experienced.  I lived it.  It caught the world's imagination and it was one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. 

In May, 1961, President Kennedy challenged America to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade.  He knew it would be expensive, but he knew it would be impressive and important to the long-range exploration of space.  Skeptics said it couldn't be done.  But on July 20, 1969 Kennedy's dream became reality when Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the surface on the moon.

Neil Armstrong died this afternoon as the result of complications following heart bypass surgery.  He never attempted to cash-in on  his celebrity.  He always remained a private man.  He never understood why there was so much attention placed on him.  During a "60 Minutes" interview when asked how he felt knowing his footprints would remain in place on the moon for thousands of years, he said he hoped somebody would go clean it up someday.

He was a man of class.  He was the type of man who Americans respect and look up to. Godspeed Neil Armstrong.