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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 706-12
August 25, 2012

Statement by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta on the Passing of Neil Armstrong

            I was deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Neil Armstrong, one of America's greatest heroes and Naval aviators.  On behalf of the Department of Defense, I express my condolences to the Armstrong family during this difficult time. 

            We are bidding farewell to one of our own.  As a decorated Korean War veteran, as an astronaut for NASA, and as the first man to walk on the moon, Neil inspired generations of Americans to believe that as a nation we are capable of achieving greatness that only comes with determination, perseverance, and hard work.  

            As a true pioneer, his one small step showed all mankind the great feats we can accomplish when we set ourselves to the task.  While Neil is no longer with us, his spirit and his legacy of American achievement and national pride will live forever.