"Even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone."
From rear to front: Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins. (NASA)
Neil Armstrong may have been the first but he was not alone -- Buzz Aldrin stood alongside him and Michael Collins orbited the moon in the command module. Today, in the wake of Armstrong's death at the age of 82, Aldrin released this statement, which was sent to Buzzfeed via his representative:
I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Armstrong today. Neil and I trained together as technical partners but were also good friends who will always be connected through our participation in the mission of Apollo 11. Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history. I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.
On behalf of the Aldrin family, we extend our deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Armstrong family. I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.
May he Rest in Peace
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