Public memorial service for Neil Armstrong to take place on Sept. 13

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- A public memorial service for American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, will be held at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on September 13, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

A NASA spokesperson said family and friends of Armstrong will join the public memorial service to honor the life and career of the astronaut. Among those attending will be NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop of Washington.

"Dignitaries, community and political leaders, and members of the NASA family, including current and former astronauts will attend," a statement from NASA said. "A very limited number of seats will be made available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Details regarding the service and participants will be released as plans are finalized."

Armstrong served as commander during the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned lunar landing mission, in July 1969. He immediately rose to fame around the world for being the first man to land a craft on the moon and then the first man to step on its surface, after which he and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin explored it for over two hours.

People from around the world gathered around their television sets to watch coverage of the moon landing and to hear Armstrong's famous words as he stepped onto the moon's surface. "That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said on July 20, 1969, as he became a part of history.

Armstrong died at a hospital in Ohio on August 25 as a result of complications from cardiovascular procedures. He had underwent surgery due to blocked coronary arteries earlier that month, just days after celebrating his 82nd birthday. It remained long unclear whether a public memorial service would be held as Armstrong often shunned publicity.

Armstrong was laid to rest during a private, family memorial service in Cincinnati, Ohio, last Friday. U.S. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation which ordered the flag of the United States to be flown at half-staff on the day of the funeral, which was attended by a number of politicians.

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