Thirty years ago, the era of manned moon flights ended. In December of 1972 the last Apollo rocket ever built blasted off to the moon. (To this day there are no capabilities or craft to land men on the moon)
The race to the moon was America's greatest achievement. It fired the imaginations of the people of the world. When Neil Armstrong - stepped foot on the moon - in an instant the whole world was united. It was the single most viewed event ever. In one instant the United States symbolized the dreams, hopes and imaginations of billions of the world's inhabitants and captured the respect and goodwill of all people, in all countries.
Our effort was born of mankind's more pure abd trustworthy of instincts - To explore. And while the moon program was so formidable and monumental it was also America's most civil national adventure. It was not a mission to extract precious stones, nor to assess the commercial possibilities of strip mining there. Our purpose was not to lob bombs on other peoples heads from way up high nor to capture and control markets there. Our only mission was to deliver Astronauts to the moon and return them safely home, to explore. And to ignite the imaginations of billions of people everywhere.
Today the image of America is of a bloated, greedy outlaw. We are hated the world over not bacause they hate freedom, but because they hate arrogance, greed, and force. And this is all we have offered to the world in the last fourty years.