Cincinnati: Neil Armstrong, the legendary US astronaut, who in 1969 took "one giant leap for mankind" will always be remembered as the first man to walk on the moon.
On Friday, former astronauts, political and business leaders, family and friends gathered in suburban Cincinnati at a private club for a closed service for Armstrong.
Fellow Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan was quoted as telling a news agency that “America has truly lost a legend.”
“Armstrong was a hero who `came from the culture of our country, ` growing up on a western Ohio farm, flying combat missions, and then joining the space program”, he added.
A program stated that the service included a Navy ceremonial guard, and comments by Armstrong`s two sons and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. A flypast by Navy fighter planes was planned at the end of the service, in tribute to Armstrong`s Navy pilot service that included combat missions in Korea.
Armstrong died last Saturday at age 82. Family spokeswoman Allison Ryan said there would be a national memorial service in Washington September 12.
In announcing his death, Armstrong`s family requested that when people "see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
No guest list for Friday`s memorial was released, but among some 10 former astronauts attending were space pioneer John Glenn and Armstrong`s fellow Apollo astronauts Cernan, James Lovell and William Anders.
(With Agency inputs)