This is truly a sad, sad day in Fresno and all over America today as we have lost one of our greatest heroes. Neil Armstrong, the legendary first man to ever walk on the moon, was confirmed to have passed away today at the age of 82.
Born in 1930, Armstrong’s contributions to world history and the progress of mankind need no introduction. On July 26, 1969, the whole world tuned in to see him and fellow astronauts Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins become the first human beings to successfully leave the confines of Earth and set foot on the moon’s surface. Upon touching down, Armstrong uttered the first words man has ever spoken on the moon’s surface, words that will be ingrained in our hearts and memories forever: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
According to an official statement made by his family, and as reported by such news sources as The Huffington Post, Armstrong passed away in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, due to complications following his recent cardiac bypass surgery. The official statement reads:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
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.
He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
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.”
NASA has tweeted their condolences to Armstrong’s memory.
President Obama has also made a statement in response to Armstrong’s passing, calling him “among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time.”
Neil Armstrong is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons, a stepson, a stepdaughter, and ten grandchildren. His legacy will also continue to live on in human history and in the hearts of all who dream of journeying beyond the stars.