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Friends, family and nation honor astronaut Neil Armstrong

The U.S. flag flies at half mast outside the Vehicle Assembly Building in honor of Neil Armstrong at the Kennedy Space Center, Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The U.S. flag flies at half mast outside the Vehicle Assembly Building in honor of Neil Armstrong at the Kennedy Space Center, Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.Roberto Gonzalez / Getty Images
Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, and Piper Van Wagenen, one of 10 grandchildren, seen during a memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, Friday, at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died August 25, 2012. He was 82.
Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, and Piper Van Wagenen, one of 10 grandchildren, seen during a memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, Friday, at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died August 25, 2012. He was 82.Bill Ingalls / AFP - Getty Images

Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, and Piper Van Wagenen, one of the late astronaut's 10 grandchildren, watch an honor guard pass by during a memorial service on Friday at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati.
Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, and Piper Van Wagenen, one of the late astronaut's 10 grandchildren, watch an honor guard pass by during a memorial service on Friday at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati.Bill Ingalls / NASA via EPA

Apollo 11 Astronauts Michael Collins, left, and Buzz Aldrin talk at a private memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday.
Apollo 11 Astronauts Michael Collins, left, and Buzz Aldrin talk at a private memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, at the Camargo Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday.Bill Ingalls / NASA Handout via EPA

The U.S. flag flies at half mast outside the Vehicle Assembly Building in honor of Neil Armstrong at the Kennedy Space Center, Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The U.S. flag flies at half mast outside the Vehicle Assembly Building in honor of Neil Armstrong at the Kennedy Space Center, Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.Roberto Gonzalez / Getty Images

NBC News and news services:  U.S. flags flew at half-staff on Friday in memory of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who was honored by fellow astronauts and other VIPs as a "brave, reluctant hero."

Ohio-born Armstrong passed away on Aug. 25 at the age of 82, due to complications that arose from heart surgery earlier in the month. President Barack Obama ordered that flags be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for Armstrong, who landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, with Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin.

It was Armstrong, the mission commander, who first emerged from the lunar module and placed the first human footprint on a celestial body beyond Earth. "That's one small step for a man — one giant leap for mankind," he declared. 

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Tourists at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum look at the Apollo 11 Command Module on display in Washington, D.C., USA, on Friday.
Tourists at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum look at the Apollo 11 Command Module on display in Washington, D.C., USA, on Friday.Pete Marovich / EPA

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