Flags ordered at half-staff

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012

By request of the President of the United States and Alabama’s Governor Robert Bentley, flags in Troy will be displayed at half-staff on Friday in honor of the first man to walk on the moon.

Neil Armstrong died Saturday afternoon from what appears to be complications from recent heart surgery. He was 82.

“I would classify Neil Armstrong and all the astronauts of that time as great heroes,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “It would be difficult to imagine what would go through your mind before liftoff, to not know if you were going to come home or what would happen while you were out there.”

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Lunsford said he has ordered that all city buildings honor the request of the president and governor and he hopes other businesses and organizations do the same.

“Neil Armstrong walking on the moon is one of the events that we all remember where we were when it happened,” Lunsford said. “It was a tremendous accomplishment and it solidified the role we play in the rest of the world. It helped show American superiority in accomplishing all things, whether it be space travel or defending our freedoms.”

Throughout his life, Armstrong was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honour, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Royal Geographic Society’s Gold Medal. He held degrees in both Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering.

Among all the things Armstrong was known for saying, his most recognizable statement happened on July 20, 1969. Just before stepping onto the surface of the moon, he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Flags should remain at half-staff until sundown on Friday.