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Public Statements

Recognizing 35th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RECOGNIZING 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF APOLLO 11 LUNAR LANDING -- (House of Representatives - July 20, 2004)

Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 723) recognizing the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, and for other purposes.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, on this day 35 years ago, two Americans stepped onto the surface of the Moon and ushered in a new era in space exploration. The astronauts of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, not only made history, they also fulfilled an American dream. Their successful Moon landing was the culmination of years of preparation by hundreds of thousands of people in government, in industry, and universities. And they became heroes to all Americans in the process.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid out a goal of landing an American on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth. On July 16, 1969, NASA launched the Apollo 11 spacecraft into orbit to fulfill this quest. The successful mission demonstrated the United States' technological and economic power, and it established our Nation as the leader in space exploration from that moment to the present.

During their walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took pictures, planted an American flag, and gathered rocks, tangible items to take back to Earth for posterity. They also gave the world a sense of wonder and awe and an enthusiasm about future space travel. Astronaut Neil Armstrong's first step on the lunar surface was indeed a "giant leap for mankind," but it was also a first step toward a new era of discovery and innovation.

The next three decades witnessed enormous strides in space exploration and research. Experiments conducted on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station expanded health research into our most threatening diseases. Microgravity experiments helped scientists fight infections, produce medicines to treat patients who have suffered from strokes, and combat osteoporosis. From the development of MRI technology to microchips, the scientific partnerships between NASA and American universities and companies continue to ensure our Nation's viability, increase our Nation's competitiveness, and help drive our economy.

As Buzz Aldrin said before Congress, the footprints on the Moon "belong to the American people, and since we came in peace for all mankind, those footprints belong also to all people of the world." Michael Collins told Congress, "Man has always gone where he has been able to go. It is that simple. He will continue pushing back his frontier, no matter how far it may carry him from his homeland. Someday, in the not too distant future, when I listen to an earthling step out onto the surface of Mars or some other planet, I hope to hear him say: 'I come from the United States of America.' "

We are the keepers of this dream. As we celebrate today's anniversary, we can also rekindle this vision. Venturing to the Moon, Mars and beyond is challenging, but our citizens have never shied away from a challenge. As a democratic people who look to the future for inspiration and solutions, we have a destiny to continue to lead in space travel. In a world marred by conflict, we can once again usher in an era of peaceful exploration.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), chairman of the Committee on Science.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), chairman of Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Feeney), another member of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt), a member of the Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations, which oversees the Space Station, and one of the major leaders in the space thrust.

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Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Weldon). Cape Canaveral is in his district. He is a long-time member of the Committee on Science and Subcommittee on Space, and is now a member of the Committee on Appropriations.

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of those present have voted in the affirmative.

Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

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