Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with a great sense of pride as an American
and with humility as a human being that I say to you today
what no men have been privileged to say before: “We walk on the moon.”
But the footprints at Tranquility Base belong to more than the crew of Apollo Ⅱ.
They were put there by hundreds of thousands of people across this country,
people in the government, industry and universities,
the teams and crews that preceded us, all who strived throughout the years with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
Those footprints belong to the American people and you, the representatives,
who accept and support, inevitable challenge of the moon.
And, since we came in peace for all mankind those footprints belong also to all people of the world.
As the moon shines impartially on all those looking up from our spinning earth
so do we hope the benefits of space exploration will be spread equally
with a harmonizing influence to all mankind.
Scientific exploration implies investigating the unknown.
The result can never be wholly anticipated.
Charles Lindberg said, “Scientific accomplishment is a path, not an end;
a path leading to and disappearing in mystery.”
Our steps in space have been a symbol of this country's way of life
as we open our doors and windows to the world to view our successes and failures
and as we share with all nations our discovery.
The Saturn, Columbia, and Eagle and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit have proved to Neil,
Mike and me that this nation can produce equipment of the highest quality and dependability.
This should give all of us hope and inspiration to overcome some of the more difficult problems here on earth.
The Apollo lesson is that national goals can be met where there is a strong enough will to do so.
The first step on the moon was a step toward our sister planets and ultimately toward the stars.
“A small step for a man,” was a statement of a fact,
“a giant leap for mankind,” is a hope for future.
What this country does with the lessons of Apollo apply to domestic problems,
and what we do in further space exploration programs will determine
just how giant a leap we have taken.