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Earth's largest satellite helps create our tides and makes moonlit rides possible. The white ball adorned in shadows and craters has long confounded and beckoned us, and Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon's dusty surface. Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were with him on a mission that inspired many more small steps.
News that Armstrong had died got our readers reminiscing about the many little impacts from mankind's giant leap into the future.
Space pioneer Neil Armstrong dies
The moon landing had a fairly obvious impact on some readers. Neil Sakaitis of La Prairie, Quebec, owes his first name to Armstrong.
"I was born in the 1970s and back then you just didn't throw out a name for your child. There was an importance to naming a child. My parents thought someone to walk on the moon was significant. They wanted to capture the hope."
He says he felt great sadness when he learned that Armstrong had died.
"I was talking to my dad, and he said your godfather passed away. My first reaction was, 'I haven't seen my father's side in ages,' and then my father said Neil Armstrong died," he wrote, and noted all the ways Armstrong had inspired him.
"Neil Armstrong, thank you for your accomplishments, your inspiration, for allowing us to do great things (reaching Mars for example), and most importantly, for giving us a name to remember. You can be sure that I will continue to speak about you for generations to come, and people will always know, why my name is Neil!"
Mike Black of Belmar, New Jersey, said he became a science teacher in part because of the inspiration of seeing humans in space. FULL POST
Editor's note: Gene Seymour is a film critic who has written about music, movies and culture for The New York Times, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly and The Washington Post.
(CNN) - What was, in retrospect, most heroic about Neil Alden Armstrong, who died Saturday at age 82, was the manner in which he shied away from the spoils and trappings of heroism itself.
Being the first man on the moon, after all, would seem to place you on top of the world, providing a kind of lifetime pass to wherever you wanted to go - and whatever you wanted to be.
Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who made "one giant leap for mankind" when he became the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday. He was 82.
"We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures," Armstrong's family said in a statement.
Armstrong underwent heart surgery this month.