Cosmonaut Gagarin...there's so much I have to say about that man! He wasn't born in Moscow and didn't really live there until after becoming famous - but nothing will stop me from writing about him!
His space flight made him a hero and Soviet idol. Sure, propaganda has done its job, but this time I tend to agree with it - just look at Yuri's smiling, honest face. Can you really believe he was not a good-hearted man?
Born in the village of Klushino of Gzhatsk region, Yuri Gagarin has forever become the pride of every single Muscovite! Ask anyone around - they will surely tell you who that man was and what he achieved.
The first manned space flight...what a pride, what a glory! The entire country united to celebrate that victory, talking about Gagarin's famous "poehali!" -"let's go!".
He was a communist and a true symbol of working class. A foreign journalist once asked Yuri if he was related to aristocratic family of Gagarins living abroad. Yuri firmly responded he wasn't aware of any such connection.
Don't get me wrong - I condemn this stuff, but you just can't get angry with Gagarin. Plus, his looks do tell you there were no aristocrats anywhere near in his heritage. He was a true "peasant's child" that made it to the stars - what better symbol could Soviet Union desire?
Moscow went crazy after Gagarin's successful landing. Nearly all male babies were named "Yuri", and Soviet girls were tearing apart parents newspapers to cut out the photo of their new hero. I can only guess how many love letters Yuri got. And yet - he remained a true family man.
He was honest, humble and decent. Rumors say that when he was dining with the Queen of England, he didn't know which fork and knife to use - and note there were dozens of'em on the table! Anyways, the Queen said she doesn't know how to use them either, and just took the fork Yuri chose for himself.
That's how his life became - awarded with Major rank by the personal demand of Khrushchev, Yuri traveled the world. He met with presidents and prime ministers, generals and kings, awarded with loads of medals - and yet everywhere he remained himself, a simple Russian fighter pilot brought to the top by the whims of fate...
Yuri died tragically in a fighter crash on March 27, 1968. The exact reasons are still uncertain, the most probable version being the turbulence from the nearby fighter plane's sonic boom. It doesn't matter, really. Cosmonaut Gagarin is gone, and nothing will bring him back.
His legacy will live on, however. He was the one who made the stars one step closer for us. Sent to space in a modified ballistic missile, Yuri showed that space is meant for peace, not bloodshed...
...and we will always remember him!
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