There's an old saying that I believe goes something like "Funerals are not for the dead, but the living." They give those of us left behind the chance to grieve, to remember, to together celebrate a life lived, to move on. In that sense, it seems so terribly wrong to me that Neil Armstrong, the first man to ever set foot on the Moon, will be laid to rest in a private ceremony on Friday.
I understand that the family would want to continue Armstrong's lifelong penchant for modesty, but in this, his final respects, I humbly disagree. I think Armstrong should receive a state funeral befitting his, and the many thousands of others, indeed the whole nation's, historic achievement.
In life it was right to leave him to the modesty and lack of limelight that he chose. In death though, it is time to honor his, and our achievement with honors that befit a great man and a great nation.
I think it doesn't speak well for us as a society, now or in the future, if we let this moment pass without a state funeral.
My two cents.