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America Loses A 'Reluctant Hero' — Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

Tell us your thoughts on the death of the man who took the historic first steps on the moon.

His family called him "a reluctant American hero," who was just doing his job.

But Neil A. Armstrong, who died Saturday in Cincinnati at age 82 of complications from heart bypass surgery, was, to many, a hero.

He was just shy of his 39th birthday when he lumbered down the ladder from the Apollo 11 spacecraft and stepped onto the stark lunar landscape on July 20, 1969.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he said, as Americans around the country watched in awe at the live footage from dark space, so far away.

That step fulfilled a challenge President John F. Kennedy issued in the early 1960s —to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Armstrong began his career as a Navy fighter pilot and test pilot before being tapped for a highly selective position as a NASA astronaut in 1962.

NASA's website featured a photo of Armstrong in his flight suit, with a simple: "Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012."

“He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits," his family said in a statement released by NASA.

His family had one request for the American people.

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.

Where were you during the first moon landing? What was Neil Armstrong's contribution to American history? Tell us in comments.

number9dream August 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Neil Armstrong was a reluctant hero because he had the integrity to not want to lie to the American people. He knew the truth, that the "lunar landing" was actually filmed in the Nevada desert.
JaySmith August 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Watching the 'moon-walk' and the lunar module nestled on the "Sea of Tranquility", and studying up on the moon's geography, looking up at the moon over the last few years with binoculars and seeing where the landing occurred.......I can now think of something else with Obama in charge of NASA and his appointed idiot-in-charge of NASA Holbert or whatever his name is.....I can only think of how Obama is ruiining NASA.....reducing its funding and making part of its 'mission' now, to educate Muslims about the great strides taken by Muslim scientists in the past. Really Obama? That's a stated part of NASA's mission now? What is our freaking country coming to, with Obama in the White House. People should wake up more, about what Obama is doing in the White House. It is downright frightening.
JaySmith August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Hey "Number9Dream' : You're a perfect manifestation of the idiocy that's become much too prevalent in our country. Thanks for showing us what a dolt you are. Now go look up the words 'manifestation' and 'dolt', and start studying up on topics (like the August 1969 lunar mission, before you make such absurd claims. I'm glad you're not in my family because I'd be ashamed to hear such spouted-out nonsense from all the tax dollars spent on your education.
number9dream August 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM
@JaySmith - I thought the "lunar mission" took place in July 1969.
JaySmith August 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Wow, Aug, July, how about 'Summer of '69' ? Alot happened that summer. Now, time to leave for work.

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