WARREN - A pastor saying a prayer for Neil Armstrong called him a visionary.
Others called the one-time local astronaut a humble man who rarely granted interviews and stopped signing autographs for fear the signature would exploit some type of monetary gain.
City officials remembered the first man to set foot on the moon as an example of what people from Warren can accomplish.
And at a memorial tribute Wednesday for Armstrong, who died Saturday, a volunteer who helped pull together resources for the half-scale replica of the lunar module and a replica of the Apollo 11 spacecraft erected in Armstrong's name on Parkman Road N.W. reminded a crowd gathered at the site to remember the man on Friday - the day he will be buried:
''The accomplishment was once in a blue moon. And Friday happens to be a blue moon. So remember him then,'' Diane Rodney said.
Linda Perich Carpenter, daughter of former Warren resident Pete Perich, told the crowd to look at the moon Friday and wink at it.
With a wreath in the foreground and taps being played in the background, a memorial tribute was held at the Neil Armstrong First Flight site at 2487 Parkman Road N.W., Warren. Photo by Christopher Bobby
Perich, who recently turned 90 and returned here briefly to accept a proclamation from Mayor Doug Franklin, worked for years to get funding and design work together for the monument.
Perich Carpenter announced at the gathering that the site will also be the scene of a tribute to Warren's other astronaut, Ron Parise. Parise died at age 56 in 2008. He flew as a payload specialist onboard two NASA space shuttle missions.
Plans are in the works to erect a sculpture of Parise, showing him from the waist up, and placed near the flag that was flying at half staff Friday.
Parise's parents, Henry and Kay Parise, who still live in Warren, were there for the tribute to Armstrong.
Franklin pointed out that the nation will fly flags at half staff Friday for Armstrong. ''But we thought it fitting to lower the flags for a full week,'' the mayor said.
Armstrong, a former test pilot who had flown in 78 missions in the Korean War, died at age 82 following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
A brief biography of Armstrong was given by Olivia Simpson, Perich's granddaughter, who pointed out that Armstrong made his first flight at age 6 on the ''Tin Goose'' airplane at an airstrip that was once located at the spot where the capsule now sits.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
"That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.
In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called "a tender moment" and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.
A gun salute by the Trumbull County Honor Guard also paid tribute to the space explorer.
State Rep. Tom Letson, D-Warren, displayed an Armstrong quote he has on his cell phone:
''The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further then that and our opportunities are unlimited.''