DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong
September 4th, 2012
07:41 PM ET

DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong

A memorial service to honor astronaut Neil Armstrong will be held September 13 at the Washington National Cathedral.

The first man on the moon died on August 25, at 82, from complications of a cardiovascular procedure.

According to a statement from NASA and the cathedral, a "very limited number of seats will be made available to the public." People who are interested in attending should contact Christine Peterson at christinepeterson@nasa.gov.

The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will officiate at the service, which will begin at 10 a.m. ET, the release said. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and other dignitaries will pay tribute to Armstrong, who also flew combat missions as a Navy pilot during the Korean War.

Armstrong's family held a private memorial service on Friday in Ohio. Memorials were also held around the country, including events at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Armstrong took two trips into space. He made his first journey in 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8 mission, which nearly ended in disaster.

Armstrong kept his cool and brought the spacecraft home safely after a thruster rocket malfunctioned and caused it to spin wildly out of control.

During his next space trip in July 1969, Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off in Apollo 11 on a nearly 250,000-mile journey to the moon that went down in the history books.
It took them four days to reach their destination.

The world watched and waited as the lunar module "Eagle" separated from the command module and began its descent.

Then came the words from Armstrong: "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

About six and a half hours later at 10:56 p.m. ET on July 20, 1969, Armstrong, at age 38, became the first person to set foot on the moon.

He uttered the now-famous phrase: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

After his historic mission to the moon, Armstrong worked for NASA, coordinating and managing the administration's research and technology work.

In 1971, he resigned from NASA and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade.

Armstrong largely avoided the public spotlight and chose to lead a quiet, private life with his wife and children.

The cathedral is home to a lunar rock, which the Apollo 11 astronauts presented to church officials in 1974 when they dedicated the church's Space Window.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Have to go to College

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    February 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  2. MOSHE

    http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com

    September 7, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  3. Sheli

    I am trying to contact the email listed here in the article to see if there is any availability for the memorial. The email address listed is not valid. Anybody know of a way to contact someone in regards to attend?

    September 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  4. PaulBel

    Of all the memories from my youth, Neil Armstrong's moon walk is probably the most vivid. The incredible courage that he and his fellow astronauts showed throughout all the manned missions should be forever admired and recounted. Though of course, I never knew him personally I feel a deep sense of loss and sorrow for the passing of this man. He was a great inspiration to me, and I am sure countless others around the world, for his great accomplishments. But more than that, for one brief instant in time, I believe just about the entire world was unified as we watched those grainy pictures transmitted a quarter of a million miles into our homes, and burned into our memories. I can't recall any other time in the past half-century that this has happened.

    Rest in Peace Commander Armstrong. The world will always remember you and your bravery. We could certainly use a lot more people like you.

    September 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  5. Brent

    The National Cathedral is so beautiful, a perfect place for a memorial to such an important person and event in our history. Like David, I am not important enough to be invited, but maybe it will be broadcast so all of us who want can watch and remember one of our heros. God bless you Neil. Thanks for giving so much to all of America in such a modest way.

    September 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  6. David

    I'd love to attend, but alas... I am a peon. Hopefully it is broadcast.

    September 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  7. cherrypieguy

    now you have learned that there is an intelligence to the universe and all of the religious dogma just doesn't apply......enjoy whatever mission you will be given.....bless your memory my fellow stardust companion

    September 5, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Kamal David

      Amen

      September 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

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