Office of the Press Secretary
July 19, 1994
NATIONAL APOLLO ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
When John F. Kennedy called upon our Nation to join him in a journey to the unknown frontier of space, Americans eagerly accepted the challenge. Propelled by the fire that President Kennedy sparked in our imaginations, the pioneering scientists of our country's emerging space program sent the Apollo 11 astronauts on the greatest adventure humankind has ever known. As the first extraordinary images of the moon's surface were transmitted to Earth for all to see, we began to recognize, as never before, how far the human race had traveled -- and how far we have yet to go.
Today, more than 30 years after President Kennedy's historic vision, America's gaze remains drawn to the heavens. Space exploration has become an integral part of our national character, capturing the spirit of optimism and adventure that has defined this country from its beginnings.
On this 25th anniversary of the historic Apollo mission to the moon, our tradition of bold discovery compels us to embrace the opportunities of the dawning 21st century. Although ours is a very different world than that of the 1960s -- one of tightening resources and expanding international competition -- our determination to meet the future with courage guides us still.
By advancing a program in robotic exploration using smaller, less costly spacecraft, we can further expand our understanding of the origins of our solar system and of the universe beyond it. By renewing our commitment to human space flight in concert with other nations, we can strengthen the bonds of international friendship, while fostering the technological development that holds the key to long-term economic growth. By investing in space transportation, we will ensure affordable access to space for our posterity. By supporting the communications and navigational systems that have maintained our Nation's security, we help to promote stability around the globe. By completing our "Mission to Planet Earth," we will gain unique insight into our planet's dynamic environment. We have one chance to keep our covenant with the generations to come -- safeguarding the thin blue shield that sustains all of Earth's inhabitants.
For when our children see tomorrow's satellite image of our world from space, these are the visions we want them to see -- visions of communication and cooperation, visions of permanence and peace. We must empower our young people to venture farther into the limitless frontier of space. We must encourage them to recognize the vast possibilities of science and mathematics, instilling in their generation the same faith in self that enabled explorers of our generation to stand on the soil of another world. Today's children do not, of course, remember the way the world held its breath as Neil Armstrong took his "one small step." But they do see the magic and enjoy the benefits of that journey every day, from the computers they use in schools to the electronic highways that connect them to friends around the world.
As we celebrate this important anniversary, our eyes again turn to the horizon. We look to the future of new technologies that we may better provide for our people. We look to the atmospheres of distant worlds that we may better protect the life's breath of our own fragile planet. We aim toward the farthest reaches of our universe that we may better understand ourselves. These are the challenges that await us. Today, let us chart a course to meet them.
In recognition of our achievements, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 187, has designated July 16 through July 24, 1994, as "National Apollo Anniversary Observance," and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 16 through July 24, 1994, as National Apollo Anniversary Observance to be celebrated with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe this occasion by honoring the Apollo 11 mission and all of the men and women who have served in our Nation's space program.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand thisnineteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON