To: H.R. Haldeman
From: Bill Safire
July 18, 1969
IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:
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 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 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.
PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT:
The President should phone each of the widows-to-be.
AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN:
A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.
It’s a unique kind of pleasure to look back six or seven years in one’s social media history and discover that one’s younger self posted cool things, had neat opinions about unexpected subjects, and was genuinely the sort of person that one likes. This was one of my favorite autoanthropological discoveries, although being reminded about Hildegard von Bingen was a close second.
#moon #space #death tw #unreality cw #amnesia cw #(personally I find moments like that deeply disturbing) #(oh don’t get me wrong I enjoy re-reading my old posts) #(but while enjoyment is a large part of why I re-read old posts another part is to keep the memories fresh) #(I wish to *never* be surprised by them) #(your past self can only surprise you to the extent they aren’t part of you anymore) #(to me that’s something to mourn‚ not be delighted by) #(but anyway we’re not here for that we’re here for the alternate-universe speech)