Ohio -- the nation's seventh most populous state -- has been home to quite a number of distinguished persons. It has produced several presidents, been the home of a number of inventors and provided precedent-setting astronauts.

One of those -- Neil Armstrong, the Wapakoneta native who was the first man to walk on the moon -- passed away Saturday in Cincinnati at the age of 82.

Armstrong's lunar walk in 1969 -- brought home to the nation by burgeoning television news -- took space travel to new heights, especially for that era. It still is a monumental achievement.

His ascent to greatness began amidst common circumstances. Not only did he graduate from the now defunct Blume High School in Wapakoneta, but he took his first flight lessons at the Auglaize County Airport which now bears his name.

Before completing his college studies, Armstrong saw action in the Korean War as a Navy combat pilot. While on one mission, Armstrong's plane was struck by anti-aircraft fire and eventually crashed, though he was able to eject and was rescued. And before his rise to astronaut fame, Armstrong was a test pilot, surviving all the dangers the position suggests.

By all accounts, Armstrong was a humble, down-to-earth guy who shunned the spotlight -- what a hero and national icon should be. We lament his death, though we celebrate his accomplishments which come at a time when U.S. space exploration is again in the news, though its future is not certain.

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