Rare 'Blue Moon' occurring the same day as Neil Armstrong's memorial service

CINCINNATI - An American hero was remembered in Cincinnati Friday.

The private memorial service for former astronaut Neil Armstrong was Friday morning at the Camargo Club in Indian Hill.

Hundreds of people attended the closed service at a the private suburban club.

The first man to walk on the moon lived in the Cincinnati area for years, and was a private man who avoided the public spotlight. His family kept his service the same way. They're also thanking the "outpouring of condolences and well wishes from around the world."

President Barack Obama asked that all flags be lowered Friday in respect for Armstrong.

9 News learned Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell and Eugene Cernan, "the last man on the moon," was in attendance Friday. Senator Rob Portman, Ohio astronaut John Glenn, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and former astronaut Bill Anders, the lunar module pilot for Apollo 8, also paid their respects to Armstrong at the private memorial service.

The Armstrong family is asking everyone to remember the astronaut's accomplishments and his modesty. They say the next time you look at the moon on a clear night, think of Neil Armstrong, and give him a wink.

The Armstrong family also released a pair of statements. Upon his death, they expressed the following: "Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati."

"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

To that end, the Internet has responded with Wink at the Moon Night, to be marked on Aug. 25 every year.

Armstrong's family released a list of organizations they support for those wishing to donate in the astronaut's memory, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, saying "The outpouring of condolences and kind wishes from around the world overwhelms us and we appreciate it more than words can express."

Neil Armstrong died in Cincinnati Saturday of complications following heart bypass surgery.

A national memorial service has been scheduled for Sept. 12 in Washington.

There will also be a rare sight in the sky Friday night. A blue moon is expected to occur. It's an event that happens only once every few years. The next blue moon won't happen until July 2015.


(Mobile and tablet users, go to WCPO.com to see the photos)


Information from CNN was used in this report.

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