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Published: Tuesday, 8/28/2012

Neil Armstrong's legacy

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died Saturday at age 82, remained modest to the end about being the first man to walk on the moon.

Many Americans wished the northwest Ohio native, who lived in the Cincinnati area in recent years, would have stepped into the limelight more often. He reminded us that heroes can display quiet dignity and grace, even at the center of something as monumental as the Cold War space race with the Soviet Union.

The brainy Wapakoneta farm boy made this country proud as he climbed down the Eagle's ladder on July 20, 1969. Mr. Armstrong, a former Navy fighter pilot, had shown nerves of steel when he landed the space module on the Sea of Tranquility as it was running out of fuel.

Now as then, Mr. Armstrong reminded us what Americans can do in science and technology -- or almost anything else, for that matter -- when they have a clear sense of purpose and unity. That's a lesson for the nation, and the world, to continue to heed for generations.

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