CLEVELAND — It was a day to recognize a major milestone in space exploration. Instead, NASA Day at Progressive Field Sunday turned into a day of remembrance.
John Glenn was in Cleveland to mark the 50th anniversary of his first orbital flight around the Earth but with the passing of Neil Armstrong Saturday, Senator Glenn paused to remember a fellow astronaut who was the first person to step on the moon.
“Neil Armstrong was outstanding in every way. He was the first person to make a footprint on any place other than on Earth,” Senator Glenn said.
Senator Glenn spoke of Armstrong as a friend and someone he admired for his accomplishments, including his time in the military.
“He was a Navy pilot and was in Korea, 78 missions–and experienced combat that most people aren’t even aware of,” he added.
But, Armstrong is most remembered for what he did on July 20, 1969–being the first person to set foot on the moon.
“People have looked up for tens of thousands of years and wondered what was up there,” Senator Glenn said. “Neil was the first one do that, to get up there.”
He spoke of Armstrong’s bravery on that mission and how it changed history.
“The Soviets at that time had their own program, which was a very secret program. We’d learn more about it later. But, after Neil landed on the moon, they cancelled their programs,” he added.
Before Sunday’s Indians game, Senator Glenn paid tribute to Neil Armstrong by leading a moment of silence.
“I lost a great friend and the country lost a great patriot,” he said.