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Celebrating 40th Anniversary Of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LUJÁN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

I rise in strong support of House Resolution 607 which was introduced by Ranking Member Hall, with Chairman Gordon, Chairwoman Giffords, and Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Olson as original cosponsors. I want to thank Mr. Hall and the others for their initiative in introducing this resolution.

The Apollo 11 Moon landing was one of the most significant events of the 20th century. It is only fitting that we celebrate it today as we mark the 40th anniversary of that historic event. That successful landing was a culmination of 8 years of sustained hard work and dedication by countless engineers, scientists, technicians and others to meet the audacious challenge laid down by President John Kennedy in 1961 at a time when it looked as though the Soviet Union had an insurmountable lead in the space race. It took the efforts of many to make Apollo a success, and they all can take pride in what they accomplished.

What had seemed only a lofty centuries-old goal of humanity a mere decade earlier became a wonderful reality when Mission Commander Neil Armstrong proudly announced on July 20, 1969, ``Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.''

Mr. Speaker, the inspiration and hard work that undergirded the successful Apollo 11 mission also laid the foundation for a host of technologies on which today's society depends. Apollo also stimulated as well as enthused generations of engineers and scientists who have contributed so much to our Nation's well-being in the ensuing decades.

In short, the Apollo program continues to deliver benefits to our country even today. Yet the legacy of Apollo is also the example of the brave astronauts who carried out those risky, challenging missions. Let us all honor the unforgettable accomplishments of the crew of Apollo 11: Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, who participated in the first expedition to set foot on another celestial body. Their cool bravery and professionalism captured the imagination of the American people, and they remain genuine national heroes 40 years after they returned home from the Moon.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would again like to recognize and thank Ranking Member Hall for introducing this resolution along with Chairman Bart Gordon, Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords, and subcommittee Ranking Member Olson. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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