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Now browsing: Hometown News > Opinion > Brevard County

My thoughts on the two Armstrongs: some of America's greats
Rating: 2.88 / 5 (40 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Sep 07 - 00:33

My wife and I saw United States astronaut Neil Armstrong walk on the moon from two, very separate locations.

On a high school senior trip, she saw the first man to walk on the moon at the American Embassy in Warsaw, Poland; and I saw the event in the dayroom of the U.S. Air Force barracks at Biggs Field in Fort Bliss, Texas.

It was 1969. She and her high school group were led into a room at the embassy in Warsaw and sat in chairs in front of a small, black-and-white television, while hundreds of Polish people walked through doors at the back of the room in an almost endless procession, viewing the event as they walked by.

I was called to the barracks dayroom for another reason and was able to watch the event at the same time in Texas. One could see the moon shining through the windows of the dayroom.

We both remember those famous words: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

We discovered later that was not exactly what Neil Armstrong was supposed to say, but it was right at the time and good enough for us. It made us proud to be Americans.

Neil Armstrong died last month, and we will miss that great American hero, even though there were documents and movies that suggested that America did not actually land on the moon in 1969, at all. History, now, of course, has dismissed that myth.

Another American hero we will miss, even though he is still alive, is Lance Armstrong.

As a bicyclist, Lance Armstrong won numerous Tour de France honors and titles. He won them under several banners, including that of the banner of the U.S. Postal Service.

At first, some of my Postal Service friends thought that supporting and financing a Tour de France bicyclist was a waste of Postal Service time and money, but most "came around" and accepted that it was good for the image of the Postal Service and the U.S. in the world.

Now, even though Tour de France bicyclists were, and currently are, tested for performance-enhancing drugs, charges have supposedly been brought against American hero Lance Armstrong for the alleged use of drugs during his Tour de France days, based on old "evidence" that may have been compromised or mis-handled over the years.

To strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles because of this and someone's testimony of their beliefs now is like giving credit to the movie business for creating the doubt that we never actually landed on the moon.

To take away something someone has already earned under the existing rules of the time would be like taking away Eagle Scout badges, NBA championships and, in this case, Tour de France medals.

Lance Armstrong, riding with a disability for America, won the Tour de France seven times.

If someone doesn't like that - after the fact - that is too bad.

Let our heroes remain heroes.

Michael G. Hibbard

Brevard News Clerk




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