“In Event Of Moon Disaster”: Memorium For Neil & Buzz

by Michelle Lovegrove Thomson on February 15, 2012Comments Off

Take a moment to read this memo, delightfully sourced from the “American Originals” exhibition by The National Archives. Written by President Nixon’s speechwriter William Safire, it addresses the possiblity that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would be killed or marooned during their mission, and aims to narrativize their deaths in tones of national pride, humanity’s undeniable desire for exploration, and honour, as would be expected.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the 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

I am particularly drawn to the closing paragraph, in which the speechwriter imagines us looking up at the night sky, knowing the men shall remain suspended there forever.

Via Letters of Note, an incredible online treasure trove of the letters and correspondence of notable people.