the following speech, which thankfully went unread, was to be given in the event that the apollo 11 mission failed.
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
for a girl who loves space (seriously–space camp ’98 alum), learning of neil armstrong’s death is distressing. some day, the pyramids will crumble, the statue of liberty will sink into the harbor, the great wall will collapse, and the greatest works of man will fade away. but the landing site of apollo 11 will remain and neil armstrong’s footprint–on the moon and on society–will stay exactly as it is. he and NASA’s other astronauts changed the world. he was the face of bravery and, to borrow from president obama, he carried with him the dreams of this country. what a remarkable life he led. rest in peace.