Washington: Deeply “saddened” by the demise of the first man to walk on the moon, US President Barack Obama commemorated the great astronaut Neil Armstrong on Sunday, hailing him as “the greatest American hero of all time”.
Neil Armstrong, who has his name etched in golden letters in annals of history as the first man ever to walk on the moon in 1969, died on Saturday at the age of 82.
"Neil was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time," Obama said in a statement.
Obama said that he and Michelle were both “deeply saddened” by Armstrong’s death.
Obama said that Armstrong was a man who “taught us the enormous power of one small step."
"When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation… And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten," Obama said.
Obama’s rival Republican Mitt Romney too shared similar sentiments when he hailed Neil as one of the heroes with unbounded courage.
“Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes. With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before. The moon will miss its first son of earth," Mitt Romney said.
Neil Armstrong was the commander of the Apollo 11 mission and the first man to set foot on the Moon on 20 July 1969, which he iconically described as "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 10:31