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Quotes reacting to the death of Neil Armstrong

Sunday - 8/26/2012, 3:53am  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - Quotes about Neil Armstrong, the American who was the first human to walk on the moon, who died Saturday at age 82:

_ "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." _ Armstrong's family, announcing his death in a written statement.

_ "Neil was among the greatest of American heroes _ not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable _ that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten." _ President Barack Obama

_ "Neil Armstrong was a very personal inspiration to all of us within the astronaut office. His historic step onto the Moon's surface was the foundation for many of our personal dreams to become astronauts. The only thing that outshone his accomplishments was his humility about those accomplishments. We will miss him as a friend, mentor, explorer and ambassador for the American spirit of ingenuity." _ Bob Behnken, chief of the NASA Astronaut Office.

_ "As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own. Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation. As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong." _ Charles Bolden, NASA administrator.

_ "He was the best, and I will miss him terribly." _ Michael Collins, who flew to the moon with Armstrong and served as the command module pilot.

_ "When I think of Neil, I think of someone who for our country was dedicated enough to dare greatly." _ John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth and Armstrong's close friend.

_ "On behalf of the Aldrin family we extend our deepest condolences to Carol & the entire Armstrong family on Neil's passing. He will be missed." _ Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, via Twitter.

_ "Gabby and I are both sad to hear of the loss of Neil Armstrong. He was an icon of exploration and a great American. He will be missed." _ retired astronaut Mark Kelly with wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, via Twitter.

_ "He did it the right way. He was humble. He was strong. He was an American hero." _ astronaut Clayton Anderson, a space shuttle and space station veteran.

_ "RIP Neil Armstrong. Thank you for everything, for your sacrifices, achievements, and inspiration. We will try to carry on your legacy." _ Bobak Ferdowsi, flight director on the current Mars Curiosity mission, famously photographed with a mohawk haircut.

_ "Neil Armstrong understood that we should reach beyond the stars. His `one giant leap for mankind' was taken by a giant of a man." _ U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who flew on space shuttle Columbia in 1986, just one month before the Challenger accident.

_ "Neil was a humble man who devoted his life and his career to serving a greater cause. From the children who strive to explore the stars to those who devote their lives to reaching beyond the bonds of earth, one can only hope to follow in his footsteps." _ Lou Rains, chairman of the Coalition for Space Exploration.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)