With the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic moon walk near, thoughts can be many. One is the large number of great Americans who have come from small towns — rural America.

Neil Armstrong came from a town of 7,000 people in Ohio, with the unusual name of Wapakoneta. The town now has grown to 10,000 people since July 20, 1969, when Armstrong made his moon walk during the Gemini VIII mission. Wapakoneta is planning a huge celebration July 20.

Helping represent those who came after him in space at the celebration will be five of the two dozen astronauts with Ohio ties: Michael Good, Gregory Johnson, Robert Springer, Donald Thomas and Sunita Williams.

The Armstrong Air & Space Museum is located in Wapakoneta, which is 60 miles north of Dayton. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected in Wapakoneta for the 10-day observance, centered on July 20.

Armstrong preferred a low profile in his past NASA years. He lived in the Cincinnati area until his death in 2012 at the age of 82.

If you look back at American history, so many of our special and great people were raised in small communities, and had small town values, which helped make this country great. In Missouri, we have had our share of great Americans also.