The Bugler

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The Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong's death on Aug 25th immediately sent all of us in our middle years back to that warm summer night, when circled around the television with family and friends, we watched the first man step on the moon. We were invincible and every school kid naturally assumed that by the time they were "adults" going to the moon would be commonplace. The idea that space travel to the moon would be routine was the talk of the moment. Instead it has been almost FORTY years since anyone has walked on the moon. Only twenty four men made the flight to the moon, and only twelve actually walked on the moon.

This view of the Earth rising over the Moon's horizon was taken during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The lunar terrain pictured is in the area of Smyth's Sea on the nearside. While the Lunar Module "Eagle" was on the surface to explore the Sea of Tranquility, the Command and Services Module Columbia remained in lunar orbit. Image Credit: NASA.

Several news specials were broadcast over Labor Day weekend featuring Armstrong and Apollo 11 including a new offering on the Discovery/Science channels entitled "One Giant Leap: A Neil Armstrong Tribute." Armstrong's two comrades on the Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, are part of the tribute and their insights into the mission and Armstrong are fascinating. Another classic documentary about Apollo 11, "When We Left Earth" was also being broadcast. One of the most amazing parts of the old footage is remembering the ticker tape parades for these heroes, not just in the United States, but all over the world. This was not just seen as an American victory, but truly a victory for all mankind. Be sure and watch your local listings and try to catch the Armstrong tributes. You will be amazed at how much you remember, and how much you have forgotten. Visit Discovery.com to see a short tribute to Armstrong and while you are on the website watch the video showing the "stuck" landing of the Mars 2012 rover. It is cool to remember that Neil Armstrong had to manually steer the lunar module to the moon's surface, while the Curiosity rover was gently placed on Mars through a combination of the largest and strongest supersonic parachute ever made and a space crane.

So although your childhood dreams of rocketing to a distant planet are not coming true as quickly as you imagine and most of us will never have the thrill of leaving the Earth's orbit, videos from the International Space Station can help us pretend we were there. The video, "Flying Over the Earth at Night", shows a beautiful flyover of earth at night, including a great display of the Northern Lights.

September 11 Remembrances

Today we remember our fellow citizens, friends and neighbors, men, women and children, who died or were wounded in the terrorist attacks on America and in the subsequent battles near and far to keep our nation safe. Many of you have had the opportunity to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum but for those who have not, visit 911Memorial.org to see how many towns and people remember the fallen on this day.

In 2013 One World Trade Center, more simply known as 1 WTC and previously known as the Freedom Tower, will open. The following is an artist's rendition of the completed tower, and what the building looks like now under construction.

Patriot Day is September 11

The U.S. flag should be displayed in mourning at half staff. For more information see Patriot Day.

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