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Astronauts, family remember Neil Armstrong

Astronauts from the Apollo era and forward joined Neil Armstrong's family to celebrate the life of the first human to set foot on the moon.

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On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong is pictured here, shortly after collecting a sample of lunar dust and rocks. At his feet is the handle for the sample collection tool.

NASA/Andy Chaikin/collectSPACE.com

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Neil Armstrong was a humble hero who saw himself as a team player and never capitalized on his celebrity as the first man to walk on the moon, mourners said Friday outside a private service attended by fellow space pioneers, including his two crewmates on the historic Apollo 11 mission.

Hundreds of people attended a closed service for Armstrong Friday at a private club in suburban Cincinnati. A national memorial service has been scheduled for Sept. 12 in Washington, although no other details have been released on the service or burial plans for Armstrong. He died Saturday at age 82.

Among some 10 former astronauts attending Friday were John Glenn and Armstrong's crew for the 1969 moon landing, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

"You'll never get a hero, in my view, like Neil Armstrong," said Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, who praised Armstrong after the service for his wisdom and humility in the way he handled becoming a global icon. "It's going to be hard to top."

"America has truly lost a legend," said Eugene Cernan, an Apollo astronaut who is the last man to have walked on the moon.

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