Nation says goodbye to moonwalker Neil Armstrong - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Nation says goodbye to moonwalker Neil Armstrong at National Cathedral

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About 2,000 people came to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Thursday to remember Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to set foot on a heavenly body.

Armstrong died last month at the age of 82.

In 1969, when Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, Mohammad Sadeque was a young man in (what is now) Bangladesh. Sadeque watched the historic event on television, and said he felt proud for all humanity.

"I [was] very proud and ... very happy to see the first person ever on the moon," Sadeque said in front of National Cathedral.

Sadeque and his wife came from Bangladesh to attend the memorial service for Neil Armstrong.

Among the others who showed: former rocket systems engineer Roger Myers, who brought an autographed poster of Buzz Aldrin standing on the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong, reflected in Aldrin's mirrored visor, took the picture.

The Navy's "Sea Chanters" sang an anthem from the service's hymnal for the late aviator-turned-astronaut.

Neil Armstrong was 38 years old when he made history on the moon. Longtime friend (and former Treasury Secretary) John Snow spoke at the service: "He was always, in his heart of hearts, that little boy who whittled wooden model airplanes on that small farm in central Ohio. Who built his own wind tunnel by the age of 12."

Fellow astronaut Eugene Cernan reminded those at the memorial how Neil Armstrong explained putting Apollo 11 down on the moon with only 15 seconds of fuel left.

"He put a thumb on an index finger," recalled Cernan, making a pinching motion with his fingers. "He'd tilt his head, and he'd put his hand down there, and he'd say, 'When the gauge says empty, we all know there's a gallon or two left in the tank."'

The crowd in the cathedral erupted in laughter.

Jazz artist Diana Krall performed a singularly appropriate song: "Fly Me To The Moon."



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