Looking back toward Earth: Apollo 11 quotes

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

— Neil Armstrong, the first human on the moon

We stand here in the dusk, the cold, the silence … and here, as at the first of time, we lift our heads. Over us, more beautiful than the moon, a moon, a wonder to us, unattainable, a longing past the reach of longing, a light beyond our light, our lives — perhaps a meaning to us …

— Archibald MacLeish, from “Voyage to the Moon,” a poem commemorating the Apollo 11 mission

Jahweh our Lord, how great your name throughout the earth, above the heavens is your majesty chanted.

By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you set your stronghold firm against your foes to subdue enemies and rebels. I look up at your heavens, made by your fingers, at the moon and stars you set in place.

Ah, what is man that you should spare a thought for him? Or the son of man that you should care for him?

You have made him a little less than an angel, you have crowned him with glory and splendor, and you have made him lord over the work of your hand.

You set all things under his feet, sheep and oxen all these, yes, wild animals too, birds in the air, fish in the sea traveling the paths of the ocean.

Jahweh our Lord, how great your name throughout the Earth!

— Psalms 8, sent by Pope Paul VI to be left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts

Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

— Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space”

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