The first man on the moon has died.

Old Glory

Neil Armstrong was the commander of the Apollo 11 mission, and he landed the lunar module Eagle on the surface of the moon.

Armstrong (astronaut, not bike-racer) will always be remembered as an American hero. According to the Wall Street Journal,

Mr. Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, his family said…It didn’t say where or when he died.

He’d undergone cardiac surgery about three weeks ago. Nothing novel about that in America–happens every day. But it was two days after his eighty-second birthday. Our medical wizardry has pushed the boundaries of what procedures are “appropriate” for people at older and older ages.

No knock against his care team–anyone would have wanted to help Armstrong live longer. I can’t help but wonder, though, if his family feels that way after watching him slowly succumb in the hospital over the subsequent weeks.

He deserved a dignified exit, away from all the whistles and bells of a cardiac intensive care unit. But he prided himself on technology and know-how. I hope the manner in which he died was in accord with his wishes.