Apollo 11: "The Eagle has Landed"
July 20, 1969
Author: Neil A. Armstrong, Astronaut
Right now I am writing from the Command Module on its return to Earth. As I glimpse into the vast blackness of space, I am comforted by the sight of the blue refuge that is Earth. Man has now taken one of his first steps into the galaxy. Edwin, Michael, and I are the first travelers between celestial bodies. The moon however, is only a next door neighbor compared to the planets that mankind will journey to in a century.
Setting my foot on the moon, I felt an immense connection to all those billions behind me, supporting me. I had not reached the moon. Humanity had reached the moon. It was a collective effort built upon the work of thousands of generations. From the invention of gunpowder to Isaac Newton's discovery of the laws of gravity, spaceflight has been a dream made possible by the combination of many elements.
Today we collected forty six pounds of rocks and soil, left a bag of goodwill messages from the leaders of seventy-three nations, an Apollo 11 patch, a small gold olive branch, and some scientific instruments. but we did more than that. We realized humanity's collective unity, saw spaceship Earth in its full isolation and glory, and inspired the humans she harbored to do the same.