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Reaching for the Moon

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Neil Armstrong yesterday. There are many people I admire and deeply respect for their contribution to this world but Neil Armstrong has, for me, been a hero since childhood - and not just for his incredible achievements as an astronaut and explorer.

He conducted himself with great dignity and humility throughout his life, eschewing the temptation to 'celebrity', even though he really had boldly gone where none had gone before.

His family's statement following his death was, inevitably, in keeping with his life:

"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 exampe 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"

I am sure thousands of us - if not millions - looked up at the moon last night and winked - as well as offering a prayer of thanks and appreciation for such a wonderful, brave and inspiring human being.