US Embassy, govt facilities to honour Neil Armstrong

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretoria - In memory of Neil Armstrong, who passed away earlier this week, the American flags at all US government facilities in South Africa will be flown at half-staff on Friday, says a statement by the US Embassy.

The American astronaut became iconic for being the first man to walk on the moon.

"As a mark of respect for the memory of Neil Armstrong, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that on the day of his interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day.

"I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations," said US President Barack Obama in his proclamation.

Armstrong died at the age of 82 following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. He was said to undergo a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month to relieve blocked coronary arteries.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 and has been best remembered by saying "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong and his fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin spent two and a half hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs, while astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit in the command module.