South Scotland

Call for Neil Armstrong tribute in Langholm

A request is being made to a Scottish council to host a special service in memory of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

The American - who died at the weekend aged 82 - had historical family links to Langholm.

He was made a Freeman of the "Muckle Toon" during a visit in 1972 - three years after his lunar landing.

Langholm councillor Denis Male said there was a strong appetite in the town to mark his life.

The Dumfries and Galloway town is considered a Clan Armstrong stronghold.

The town clerk at the time of the moon landing was Eddie Armstrong who issued an invitation for Neil Armstrong to be made the town's first and only Freeman.

To great local astonishment, he accepted.

"The most difficult place to be recognised is in one's own home town," he said on receiving the honour.

"I consider this, now, my home town."

Mr Male said he believed that bond should be honoured in some way by the local authority.

"We should have a very special day to remember the man because he was the only Freeman of the burgh of Langholm ever put in place," he said.

He hoped the event could be hosted in the town's parish church later this year to honour "a famous son of the Armstrongs" in their traditional stronghold.

The MSP for Dumfriesshire has also submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament commemorating the life and achievements of Mr Armstrong and his connections with Langholm.

Elaine Murray said Mr Armstrong was proud of his association with Scotland, and Langholm in particular.

She felt it was fitting that his local links were recognised in Holyrood, as well as his "contribution to human achievement".

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