Neil Armstrong was an “American hero and trailblazer,” Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said Saturday, commenting on the death of the first person to set foot on the moon.

Snowe said people “shall forever proudly recall his timeless words, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,’ ” when he stepped off the lunar lander onto the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969.

Armstrong, 82, who lived in suburban Cincinnati, died from complications of a cardiovascular procedure, his family said.

“In the extraordinary legacy he forged, we find the everlasting path of fearless exploration and discovery that was seized upon by the many brave souls who took to the heavens by his example,” Snowe said. “Today, we sadly lost an icon, but we take solace in knowing that, just as his footprints remain on the moon to this day, his memory and journey to that otherworldly place will remain eternally etched upon the landscape of our minds.”

Members of the Air Force Thunderbirds, in Maine this weekend for the Great State of Maine Air Show at Brunswick Landing, also released a statement.

“As a team of people dedicated to aviation, the passing of Neil Armstrong will have an impact on every one of us,” said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, the commander of the team of jet pilots. “He was a true pioneer of flying excellence who turned so many millions of eyes skyward. He inspired and affected all of us involved in this profession, and the world will forever remember his legacy.”

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