The news that the Soviet Union had put a man into space, and then that they had got him back again, was somewhat awesome to me as a youngster. One of us, up there. It may have been at a troubled time for the world of the cold war era, and Yuri Gagarin might have been on the other side, but he became an instant hero to me.
Fifty years on I still hold his memory in high regard. Is space research a waste of time as some would have us believe? No to me; pushing boundaries is one of the things that life is all about, and to be the first to go where someone has not gone before is a special thing.
Still one of my heroes, Yuri Gagarin got there first, and he will not be forgotten.