Sunday, October 31, 2010
Ted Sorensen, President John F. Kennedy's prime speech writer, died today at age 82. He helped craft JFK's stirring inaugural address and his other speeches, including those in times of great crises. He presumably had a hand in the 1961 speech to Congress that included the commitment to reach the Moon by the end of the decade and this stirring and poetic speech on space given at Rice University in 1962.
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."
Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
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