The feeling of dismay when learning of the death of Gene Cernan. It was personal for so many of us in Houston and Texas. Gene was one of us.
And he was also more than us... an astronaut, with more than 566 hours in space, 73 hours on the Moon...to this date, the last man to walk on the Moon. That alone made him an image of out-of-worldliness. But Gene never let your awe of his record interfere with his friendship, his warmth and energy, his involvement in our community. Still, there was always his ability to inspire and his unfailing reverence for what he had experienced with and for mankind in space.
Gene Cernan is mourned by all who revere something greater than ourselves. And as Houstonians, we acknowledge that he represents the type of heroes who count in this city. Houston is a space of its own in that regard.