Student Work – Jimmy Lee Dykes and Neil Armstrong

Jimmy Lee Dykes by Tamir Smart

tamir smart

Tamir Smart

Jimmy Lee Dykes

Jimmy Lee Dykes

Jimmy Lee Dykes age 65 drew nationwide attention on Tuesday January 29th, 2013 after he shot and killed bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. Dykes later abducted a kindergarten student who fainted during the ordeal. Dykes held the young child hostage for 6 days in an underground bunker on his property with bombs planted inside and around the bunker. Jimmy Lee Dykes a resident of Midland City, Alabama was described by neighbors as unpredictable and unstable after the brutal beating of a neighbor Rhonda Wilbur’s dog in late 2012. Dykes, a U.S. Navy Veteran served as an Aviation Maintenance Administrator 3rd Class AZ3 during the period 1964 to 1969 where he earned several commendations which include medals for Good Conduct, Vietnam Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

At approximately 3:12 PM on February 4th, 2013 FBI Special Agents stormed the underground bunker using a flash bang to create a diversion. Dykes opened fire on officials engaging them in a brief firefight where Dykes was subsequently shot and killed. The hostage suffered no injury during the course of this exchange and is currently in hospital under observation.

Considering the events which transpired it is unclear whether Dykes died testate providing for his surviving relatives an adult daughter and his sister. At the time of his death Dykes was in possession of real estate with an underground bunker, he was the owner of a white trailer, a steel shipping container in which he stored supplies and tools as well as several firearms. At this time FBI and local officials continue to sweep the property for explosive devices rendering the immediate environs closed to the public.

Daniel Beekman, Christine Roberts and Erik Ortiz, Child freed from Alabama hostage crisis is ‘laughing, joking, playing’ as he recovers in hospital after terrifying situation ends, New York Daily News (Last visited February 5, 2013, 12:40 AM)


Lanetra Bennet, FBI Discovers Bombs Inside Alabama Hostage Bunker, (Last visted February 5, 2013, 12:36 AM)–189004681.html.

Neil Armstrong by Julia Gartvich

Neil ArmstrongImage from Wikipedia

As human beings it is in our nature to want to leave some sort of mark behind us once we leave this world.  Many of us accomplish this task by leading relatively fulfilling lives by receiving an education, having careers, getting married and having children.  Others accomplish tasks and do things that are so memorable, incredible and astonishing that they leave a mark on the world that no one will ever forget.  One such individual is Mr. Neil Armstrong.  Most widely recognized and known for being the First Man on the Moon, Mr. Armstrong has sadly left our world on August 25, 2012 at the age of 82 due to heart complications after undergoing heart bypass surgery.  His legacy and accomplishments however will live on forever.

Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  His parents were Stephen Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel.  Mr. Armstrong studied at Purdue University as an engineering student.  Mr. Armstrong married his first wife Janet Elizabeth Shearon who studied home economics in Evanston, Illinois in January of 1956.  They had three children together.  Two sons and a daughter.  Eric and Mark who are still alive today and Karen who died of a brain tumor in 1962.  Mr. Armstrong and Janet got divorced in 1994 and Janet currently lives in Utah.  In 1999 Mr. Armstrong married Carol Knight who is still alive and currently resides in Indian Hill in Cincinnati.  Mr. Armstrong’s other survivors include a stepson, a stepdaughter, a brother by the name of Dean, a sister by the name of June Armstrong Hoffman and ten grandchildren.

Mr. Armstrong definitely led quite an interesting life.  He had a passion for flying, he served in the Korean War, and of course most famously on July 20, 1969 he was the first man to ever land on the moon.  His famous quote “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” made Armstrong not only an instant hero overnight, but a man who can be looked up to as an example that with hard work and determination anything is possible.  In an interview from Newsweek magazine when asked about why he decided to join the astronaut corps in 1962 Mr. Armstrong answered “I can’t tell you now just why in the end I made the decision I did, but I consider it as fortuitous that I happened to pick one that was a winning horse.”  And with this one decision who would have ever thought that it would leave such a remarkable impact on an entire world.

One of the qualities that make Mr. Armstrong such an inspiration to all of us is the fact that he never allowed his fame for what he has done and for what he has accomplished to go to his head.  As a matter of fact, after Mr. Armstrong came back from the mission he stayed away from the limelight and tried to live a relatively normal life.  Mr. Armstrong did what he did not because it would bring him some sort of power, status or celebrity type of lifestyle.  He did it because it was just something that he wanted to do.  It is difficult not to respect someone who has such humility about their great accomplishments and work in life.  Even though Mr. Armstrong is now gone, his legacy and his story will continue to live on for many generations to come.


Douglas Brinkley, The Neil Armstrong You Didn’t Know, Newsweek, Sept. 10, 2012, at 46.

John Noble Wilford, Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dies at 82, N.Y. TIMES (Aug. 25, 2012),


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