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A Farewell to Neil Armstrong at National Cathedral

First Posted: Sep 14, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

An emotional gathering at the National Cathedral on Thursday Sept 13, to paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 commander and the first man on moon who died last month in Ohio at the age of 82.

"Neil Armstrong will always be remembered for taking human mankind first small step on another world," said Administrator Bolden. "But it was the courage, grace and humility he displayed throughout his life that lifted him above the stars. He left more than foorprints and a flag on the moon. He left a foundation for the future and paved the way for future American explorers to be first to step foot on Mars or another planet."

"He's now slipped the bonds of Earth once again, but what a legacy he left," former Treasury Secretary John Snow was quoted by LA Times.

"You have now shown once again the pathway to the stars," Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon was quoted by LA Times. "As you soar through the heavens beyond even where eagles dare to go, you can now finally put out your hand and touch the face of God."

Diana Krall the popular jazz singer performed "Fly Me to the Mooon." The U.S Navy Band "Sea Chanters", the Cathedral choir and the Metropolitan Opera Brass also performed.

"In Neil's mind, it was never about Neil," Cernan explained. "It was about you, your mothers and fathers, your grandparents, those of an earlier generation, who gave him the opportunity to walk on the moon. ... He always gave credit to those who just didn't know it couldn't be done."

"He knew who he was and he understood the immensity if what he had done. Yet Neil was always willing to give of himself," said Cernan, who told of trips that they made to visit troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Armstrong's words, "That is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," spoken on July 20, 1969 as he became the first person ever to step onto another planetary body.

Neil Armstrong is survived by his wife, Carol; two sons by his former wife, Janet; a stepson and stepdaughter, 10 grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

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