WASHINGTON (NNS) -- "On behalf of the men and women of the Navy Department, I extend my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of Neil Armstrong.
"Mr. Armstrong rightly belongs to the ages as the man who first walked on the moon, a pioneer of space exploration and science. A giant. But to those of us in his Navy family, he will also remain a shipmate -- a naval aviator who flew nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War. A leader.
"He never wanted to be a living memorial, and yet to generations the world over his epic courage and quiet humility stands as the best of all examples. It is not merely his "small step" we admire; it is his very large and humble heart.
"The world has lost a legend. We have lost a friend, unique in our lifetime and never to be out of our minds."
Secretary of the Navy