Armstrong’s Hometown To Honor Astronaut With Wink At The Moon

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People have been flocking to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta since native son Neil Armstrong died last weekend.(Photo: Flickr)
People have been flocking to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta since native son Neil Armstrong died last weekend.(Photo: Flickr)

For the past couple days, visitors have been making their way to the small northwestern Ohio town of Wapakoneta to remember astronaut, moon-walker, and native son, Neil Armstrong.

His desire to fly began at a very early age.

Its been called the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century: the July 1969 landing on the moon.

This week, after Armstrong’s death at the age of 82, Americans of all ages either fondly recall the moon landing or listen to accounts of the accomplishment.

Several weeks prior to the moonshot, longtime Columbus radio personality Tom Wiebell, interviewed Armstrong’s late father, Stephen Armstrong, on WRFD about his son’s early interest in aviation.

“Two-to-three years old, he coaxed his mother to buy a little airplane in the ten cent store,” the elder Armstrong said. “And there was an argument at that time between a ten and twenty cent plane, and of course he won out and his mother bought him a twenty cent plane.”

The twenty cent plane helped fire young Armstrong’s imagination and interest in flying.

His father indulged him, too. He tells of a time when he took his son on his first airplane ride.

“One time we were headed, at least his mother thought we were headed, for Sunday school, and they had a plane ride cheaper on the morning. And they escalated during the day, and so we skipped Sunday school and took our first airplane ride in a Ford Tri-motor. I was scared to death. He enjoyed it.”

And so that’s the first real evidence of flying. From then on, he’s went on to a number of feats, as you know.

Armstrong later served as a combat pilot in Korea and flew experimental aircraft that broke the sound barrier before being chosen for the space flight to the moon.

Armstrong’s training and steady demeanor came into play as he guided the moon landing craft away from an area of rocks and boulders to an area with a powdery surface called the Sea of Tranquility.

On Wednesday night, The Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta will remember the ’69 moonwalk. Museum Executive Director Chris Burton says it will end with a moon wink.

Just kind of turn to the moon and just give a wink together, as the Armstrong family has requested we do.

Armstrong was the first of twelve American astronauts to walk on the surface of the moon.

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