Jimmy Carter photo

Apollo 11 Anniversary Remarks at a Ceremony in Observance of the 10th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.

July 20, 1979

MR. ARMSTRONG. Mr. President, we're delighted that you would take the opportunity to note this occasion that is very meaningful to those of us who were charged with the responsibility of meeting a national goal. And nothing matches success like more success, and the 10th anniversary of that occasion is very pleasant for all of us today.

We would like to present to you a flag that was carried on our flight 10 years ago and a replica of the one that was planted there 10 years ago today, presented to you with our very good wishes and hopes for the future.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much.

MR. FROSCH. We'd like to add to this the first copy of a piece of the history of Apollo inscribed to you from the crew.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, this is a great honor.

This 10th anniversary, even, is a great moment for our Nation and for the world. Ten years ago, all humanity watched with wonder as two brave men—Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on my right-stepped boldly onto the Moon while a third brave astronaut, Mike Collins, was in lunar orbit. The touchdown of Apollo II Eagle in the Sea of Tranquility was a stunning achievement, without precedent in human experience. These three astronauts, representing the spirit of our entire Nation, fulfilled the age-old dream of mankind of venturing beyond Earth to the surface of another world.

As we honor these three bold adventurers today, we take pride in our Nation and in the unequaled technological ability that made this great endeavor possible and which still exists. The pioneer spirit that built our great country is symbolized by the footprints of American astronauts on the bleak landscape of the Moon.

The first lunar landing and those which followed it were due to the unique and the specialized contributions of tens of thousands of Americans—scientists, engineers, astronauts, skilled craftsmen, and many others. We must continue to use these skills and build upon the success and the inspiration of the Apollo program.

The 10th anniversary of the lunar landing is a time to reflect on what we as a nation can accomplish with unity, daring, and determination. We landed on the Moon because our Nation set a firm goal, and we united behind that effort. Today, we face an equally challenging goal in fighting for energy security. Like the Apollo mission, it is a test of our Nation's resources and our spirit as a people.

We will win energy security for our Nation in the same way we won the race to the Moon. We will marshal the unequaled technological and scientific capacity of the American people. We will draw upon our vast and abundant natural resources, and we will unite as a people in our determination to preserve our freedom and our independence as a nation.

I know that the spirit to unite, to prevail, to overcome this energy crisis is strong among the American people today. I've seen it on the faces of those with whom I have met and talked in the last few weeks. I have no doubt that as a nation we will succeed.

Our Nation will also face a number of other difficult challenges in the years ahead. But this Nation and this Government must be prepared with confidence to meet these challenges. I'm now involved in an intense and serious period of review and evaluation. I will make the decisions necessary to ensure that my administration, representing the American people, can provide the leadership this country needs.

As President, I am also determined to maintain America's leadership in space. The first great era of space exploration is about over; as an initiative, unprecedented. But the second—the era of the space shuttle, when we harvest the great benefits that have been made possible by that exploration—is about to begin.

As the poet Robert Browning wrote over a century ago, "Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" As a nation, we always must have the boldness to reach for the heavens and to set a brave example for all peoples of this Earth.

On behalf of the United States of America, I want to repeat the gratitude of our country to these three brave men, those who followed them and preceded them in space, and the many scientists, workers, average Americans, technicians who helped to make this enormous achievement possible.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 12:17 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. Robert A. Frosch is Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Jimmy Carter, Apollo 11 Anniversary Remarks at a Ceremony in Observance of the 10th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249607

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