This July marks the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. Had tragedy struck President Nixon would have had to address the nation. This article discusses the speech that he would have given. It was entitled In the event of Moon disaster.
If Armstrong and Edwin â€œBuzzâ€ Aldrin had been stranded on the Moon, unable to return to Michael Collinsâ€™s orbiting Apollo 11 command ship, Nixon would have called their widows then addressed a horror-struck nation.
â€œFate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace,â€ he would have told the watching millions.
These brave men know there is no hope for their recovery but they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
â€œThese two men are laying down their lives in mankindâ€™s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
â€œThey 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.
â€œIn their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.â€
The President would have added: â€œIn 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. Manâ€™s search will not be denied but these men were the first and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.â€
And in an allusion to Rupert Brookeâ€™s First World War poem The Soldier, his concluding lines were to be: â€œFor 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.â€