Neil Armstrong Remembered in Memorial Service

Article written: 14 Sep , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon, was honored in a memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral on September 13, 2012. He was remembered as a quiet but strong hero who led mankind into space. Armstrong died last month at 82 following complications after heart surgery. He will be buried at sea in the Naval tradition today (Friday, September 14, 2012) at an undisclosed site.

“He embodied all that is good and all that is great about America. Neil, wherever you are, you again have shown us a way to the stars,” said Gene Cernan during the memorial. Cernan was commander of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 and the last person to walk on the Moon.

If you missed watching it live, here is a video of the entire service. The National Cathedral was a fitting place to remember Armstrong, as it has one stained glass window, known as the Space Window, which has a piece of Moon rock presented by Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in 1974.

The recessional at the conclusion of a memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong at the Washington National Cathedral, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Photo Credit:(NASA/Paul E. Alers) Click here to see a gallery of images from the service.

The Cathedral was filled with NASA officials, astronauts, and the general public who wanted to pay their respects to the man who displayed courage and grace under pressure that had made him exceptional, said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.

Cernan provided an example of Armstrong’s “cool under pressure” personality in recounting Armstrong’s response years ago when asked how he felt when he was landing on the Moon with only seconds of fuel remaining.

Cernan recalled Armstrong saying, “Well, when the gauge says empty we all know there is a gallon or two left over,” which drew laughter from the crowd.

At the end of the service, Bolden presented Armstrong’s wife, Carol, with the flag that had flown at half-staff over the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston on August 25, the day Armstrong passed away.

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15 Responses

  1. Beck45 says

    “The National Cathedral was a fitting place to remember Armstrong…”

    Why? A ridiculous institution built upon some absurd ancient myth, with a rich tradition of opposing scientific progress and of disgusting violence and abuse, is a fitting place to remember one of the great scientific achievements of mankind? Whatever. Unless Armstrong was a devout catholic, in which case my estimation of his character, not his achievement, drops a few, actually many, notches.

    • Member
      NancyAtkinson says

      As the rest of the sentence says, because there is a piece of a Moon rock in a window there. That’s the only reason cited.

      • Beck45 says

        Well that wouldn’t make it fitting, IMO, when the things I mention completely eclipse that piece of moon rock to make it the most *unfitting* of places.

      • Tact (n.) “Adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others, esp. with difficult situations.”

        You do not has.

      • First, the cathedral is Episcopal, not Catholic. Second, Armstrong was a Deist. Maybe you should look up what that means, before venting your opinion!

      • Beck45 says

        I don’t know, nor care, about the definitions you mention. I assumed cathedral implied catholic. If not, well the things I mention pretty much apply to all religion anyway. And I indicated I didn’t know about Armstrong’s beliefs.

        Anyway my original point was that the memorial setting is extremely ironic, in the worst way.

      • @Beck45 : Who are you to judge anybody or anything?

      • Beck45 says

        The same as you. An internet commenter writing an opinion. Religion-based absurdities, presented as fact but utterly disproved by modern science, at the heart of my comments, however, are not mere opinion. (Excess comma, yes). 😀

      • @Beck45 I see, you are right, I am wrong. Please excuse my ignorance.

      • SJStar says

        Funny. Respect has not been disproved by modern science either. Now has it?

    • HeadAroundU says

      Take it as a good marketing strategy in Religious States of America. :d Is it controversial for not overly religious people if a death is connected a bit to religion? Anyway, can you prove that a god doesn’t exist?

      Off-topic:
      Holy universe what I did with UT, I zoomed it to 150% so it’s full screen, I can’t get rid of the empty right side. I recommend deleting the hyperlink from the annoying textad, it’s less annoying. Also, I deleted UT banner. 😀 It’s a war because someone’s not an open source scientist. Filthy Capitalist assholes.

    • Beck isn’t a bad guy for venting his opinion. He just happens to be one of those people that offer theirs when nobody cares to listen to it.

      • Beck45 says

        I realize most people on Earth still hold to irrational beliefs–let alone religous ones. But it’s getting better, slowly. One can plug their ears all they want and not “care to listen to it” but that exactly would have been the attitude of people 500 years ago. Most people are still the same, just in a weaker, and thankfully impotent way since today we have laws that make pretty much any violence illegal.

        If no one ever stood up and called religious *nonsense* for what it is and just accepted and went along with it as most people here tend to do, we’d still be in the time of Galileo and terrible church oppression. Dirty old men in stupid costumes telling you they know how the universe came to be because of telepathic communication to them. Yeah. That’s *very* worthy of respect. *rolls eyes*

    • SJStar says

      Even I would never go as far as what this particularly individual says. I too have some reservations about the Catholic faith too, but I don’t deride others for their beliefs however feeble.
      Frankly, it is just really too easy to kick someone who is not here to defend him or herself. Religion is a personal choice of an individual, and whilst the church may or may not have done what you say, it at least humbly respects in reverence when someone has died. Moreover, for some it is an important part of the grieving process, when the living come together to celebrate someone they knew.
      One thing is for certain, have such disrespect will not do you any favours. I expect when you die, that you expect no one should come together and remember you either?

      Have a funeral service at the National Cathedral was fitting for Neil Armstrong. Only one person can be first to land on the Moon and who served his country with honour. Nothing more needs to be said.

  2. Youtube says “this video is private.”

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