(CNN) — Neil Armstrong was memorialized Friday in a private service held by his family in Ohio. Memorials were also being held around the country, including events at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The first man on the moon died on August 25, at 82, from complications of a cardiovascular procedure.
Armstrong’s loss has been felt around the country and the world, prompting responses not only from everyday citizens but also from President Obama, who ordered flags to fly at half-staff, Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator, and his fellow astronauts and colleagues.
In a statement on YouTube statement, Bolden said, “Neil will always be remembered for taking human’s first small step on a world beyond our own, but it was his courage, grace and humility before, during and after his historic Apollo 11 mission that has continued to lift him and all of us far beyond that breakthrough achievement.”
Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin said in a separate statement, “Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from Earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone … I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew … I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our moon landing.”
The Armstrong family also released a pair of statements. Upon his death, they expressed the following: “Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.”
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
To that end, the Internet has responded with Wink at the Moon Night, to be marked on August 25 every year.
Armstrong’s family released a list of organizations they support for those wishing to donate in the astronaut’s memory, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, saying “The outpouring of condolences and kind wishes from around the world overwhelms us and we appreciate it more than words can express.”
By Sophia Dengo
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