It's been more than 50 years since Apollo 11, but the event and the words that accompanied it are indelibly engraved in history.
From John F. Kennedy to Pope Paul VI, the first moon landing —the 50th anniversary of which we just celebrated on July 20—inspired unforgettable quotes which have become as immortal as the images of that first moon walk. Here are five of the most memorable related to the adventure that pushed humanity beyond the limits of what was thought possible, and that meant much more than just a journey to a new frontier …
In one of the most emblematic speeches in the history of political rhetoric, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) announced that man would go to the moon, and put to use all the resources of the USA to achieve it. The space race with the Soviet Union was perhaps the most innocent of the competitions of the Cold War, but in no way was it free of cloak-and-dagger activities. During his speech on September 12, 1962, at the stadium of Rice University, JFK proposed a government policy, but also a transcendent reason for that policy:
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”