Tribute for Neil Armstrong held at U.S. Space and Rocket Center | News
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- The special ceremony to honor Neil Armstrong at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville included an astronaut inspired to become an astronaut by Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon and hundreds of kids who are still inspired by the space pioneer.
Armstrong passed away last week at the age of 82.
Armstrong's influence remains strong in Huntsville, 43 years after he took that famous first walk on the moon.
Marshall Space Flight Center's acting Associate Director Jonathan Pettus said Armstrong ranks with explorers like Christopher Columbus. He added that much of what the Apollo XI crew accomplished was made possible in the Rocket City.
"Given all that the space program has meant to this city and what this city has meant to the space program, I think he's obviously a very important figure and deserves our honor and respect - especially on this day," Pettus said.
Scores of children who attended the event had just graduated from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Space Camp.
Dr. Jan Davis, who said she was inspired to become an astronaut by Armstrong, spoke to the crowd about what he meant to her.
"Neil Armstrong was an inspiration to our whole country and what we can do with science and technology and to go to the moon. He was just an amazing person. He was a hero and he blazed a trail for the rest of us in exploring space," she said.
Davis, who was a 16-year-old living in Huntsville during the historic voyage to the moon, said she and her family drove to Florida to see the liftoff.
"I went to the launch and watched him walk on the moon, so it was really an influence on my decision to go into the space program." she said.
A funeral for Armstrong was held Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.