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Immortal Words, Incredible Decree

Today is a great day in American history, and indeed, the history of this world.  Many amazing things have happened over time, and there is still much more ahead that will amaze us still.  But forty years ago tonight, two human beings descended to, landed on, and walked around the surface of the Moon for the first time.  EVER. 



A hat tip to Jeffy for finding me this particular version of President John F. Kennedy's remarks.  It looks like it was a hot day in Texas that day.  The theme music accompanying it comes from the HBO mini-series "From The Earth To The Moon" - one of the best things I've ever seen on TV that chronicled the 'race for space'. 

This summary of the FTETTM series comes courtesy of Kathy Li at IMDb (The Internet Movie Database), "the twelve episodes follow the Apollo space program from a variety of viewpoints: (1) "Can We Do This?" maps the origins of Apollo and its Mercury and Gemini roots; (2) "Apollo 1" tells of the tragic fire and the subsequent finger-pointing; (3) "We Have Cleared the Tower" portrays the intense preparation for Apollo 7; (4) "1968" puts Apollo 8 into its historical context against events of the era; (5) "Spider" shows the engineering POV through the design, building, and testing of the LEMs with Apollos 9 and 10, (6) "Mare Tranquilitatis" shows the deeper considerations behind the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing; (7) "That's All There Is" portrays the camaraderie of the Apollo 12 crew; (8) "We Interrupt This Program" shows a by-now-indifferent media galvanized by the events of Apollo 13; (9) "For Miles and Miles" tells of Alan Shepherd's return to the manned program with Apollo 14 after being grounded between Mercury and Gemini; (10) "Galileo Was Right" show the non-piloting demands on the Apollo 15 astronauts as they train in lunar field geology; (11) "The Original Wives Club" gives the female POV through the wives of the New Nine; and (12) "La Voyage Dans La Lune" brings things full circle by contrasting Georges Méliès's vision and drive in creating his 1902 film with Apollo 17 and the Apollo program's close."

Episode Six concentrates on things not readily known from the Apollo 11 moon shot, such as who goes out the hatch of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) to first step on the Moon -- Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin?  Also how Aldrin decided to commemorate this feat by receiving communion for the first time in outer space which he carried from his Presbyterian parish in TX (There, R-bear, the postulant mentioned it). 

There were so many 'firsts' in all of this.  All of them important, amazing, and inspiring.