Local Scouts to attend national memorial service

Three local Eagle Scouts and a leader are representing Wapakoneta at a national memorial service for hometown, and American hero, Neil Armstrong.

The Boy Scouts were asked to attend by the Armstrong family. While growing up in Wapakoneta, Neil Armstrong had been an Eagle Scout and member of Troop 14.

All Wapakoneta Eagle Scouts were invited to attend the service in Washington, D.C., as there was interest in representing Armstrong’s hometown and youth at the service.

“Mr. Armstrong was an Eagle Scout from this area,” said Eric Limbert, one of the Eagle Scouts planning to attend the service. “It’s nice of us to show up and represent not only the Eagle Scouts, but this area, to honor and remember him.”

The scouts, including Limbert, Alec Temple, and Zach Orchard, as well as adult leader Eric Temple, left early this morning for the service and plan to return Thursday afternoon.

Quite an honor to be asked and able to attend, each of the youth said they are looking forward to it.

Other details about the memorial service also have been announced with astronauts Michael Collins, Apollo 11 command module pilot, and Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 mission commander and the last man to walk on the moon, scheduled to participate. The service is to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Washington National Cathedral.

Cernan is to join NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr., and former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow in offering tributes, while Collins is to lead prayers. Popular jazz singer-songwriter Diana Krall is scheduled to sing. Other musicians performing include the U.S. Navy Band “Sea Chanters,” the Cathedral Choir, and the Metropolitan Opera Brass. The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington, plans to offer the homily in honoring the life of the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong died on Aug. 25.

The service is by invitation and all seats have been allocated at this time. It is to be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed online at nasa.gov and national cathedral.org.

Washington National Cathedral is referred to as the spiritual home for the nation and brings the country together at important moments to pray, commemorate, celebrate and mourn, according to a news release.

The Cathedral also has long worked to recognize NASA and the country’s space program. Armstrong and Michael Collins along with fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, presented the Cathedral with a moon rock brought back from their Apollo 11 mission.

The presentation took place during a service on July 21, 1974, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the first steps on the moon. The iconic Space Window that would later display the sample of lunar rock was also dedicated at that service.

On Oct. 23, 1983, astronauts Collins and Capt. Frederick H. Hauck took part in a service to celebrate the 25th anniversary of NASA at the Cathedral, which also was the location for a memorial service on Feb. 6, 2003, for the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia, who had died during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.