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Brooks salutes the Apollo program

Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, spoke on the floor of the  House of Representatives Wednesday to celebrate, “The 50th anniversary of one of mankind’s, and America’s, greatest achievements: walking on the surface of the Moon.”

“Even now, 50 years after watching the Moon landing, I get chills remembering when Apollo astronauts landed and later planted the American flag on the Moon’s surface,” Rep. Brooks said. “It was American ingenuity, boldness, technical prowess, and economic might that made this historic achievement possible. I’m proud to say the legacy of the Apollo 11 Moon landing lives on in the Tennessee Valley of Alabama that I represent.”

“The Tennessee Valley’s Marshall Space Flight Center is the birthplace of America’s space program,” Brooks continued. “Americans generally, and Alabamians in particular, designed and engineered the Saturn V rocket that launched the historic Apollo 11 and took American astronauts to the Moon.”

“I will never forget the flames and the roar as our Saturn V rocket was launched and carried the Apollo 11 crew and vehicles to the Moon,” Brooks said. “I remember with tremendous pride American Neil Armstrong’s words as he to set foot on the Moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That giant leap, meant to benefit all mankind, is a prime example of American exceptionalism and helped cement America’s status as the best, most powerful, and most influential nation in world history.”

“When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted America’s flag on the Moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, there was no doubt that America’s space program had passed the Russians and become the preeminent leader in space exploration, a position America maintains today,” Brooks stated. “This week, America not only reflects on the miraculous achievements of the Apollo 11 mission, but we also honor those who played a critical role in its ultimate success.”

“The Tennessee Valley is immensely proud of our pivotal role in landing a man on the Moon and, equally importantly, returning them alive to Earth,” Brooks added. “Reflecting our pride in America’s achievement, there are two— that’s two— Saturn V rockets displayed at the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. These Saturn V displays help inspire the next generation to reach for the stars and achieve what now may be thought impossible.

“While it is important to remember the historical achievements of the Apollo missions, it is also important to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the effort to achieve American greatness,” Brooks said. “In that vein, Huntsville has named schools after Apollo Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee, each of whom died during a capsule fire during an Apollo 1 ground test.”

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“After the Moon landing and return of Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins to Earth on July 24, 1969, Huntsville’s streets were awash with revelers,” Brooks added. “German Rocket Scientist Wernher Von Braun said on the Huntsville courthouse steps that day, ‘My friends, there was dancing here in the streets of Huntsville when our first satellites orbited the Earth. There was dancing again when the first Americans landed on the Moon. I’d like to ask you, “don’t hang up your dancing slippers.”’

“Von Braun’s words remind us that mankind’s greatest achievements are yet to come, that America will continue to accomplish the unimaginable in space for the benefit of all humanity.,” Brooks concluded. “As we reach for the stars, I have confidence that the Tennessee Valley, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Huntsville, where we say “The Sky is NOT the Limit,” will be instrumental in carrying American astronauts back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond!”

Vice President Mike Pence also honored the Apollo 11 mission on its 50th Anniversary.

“50 years ago, Apollo 11 launched holding astronauts that would soon make history and walk on the Moon. Today, under the leadership of President @realDonaldTrump, the U.S. has rededicated itself to deep space exploration to the Moon, Mars, and beyond!” VP Pence said.

Mo Brooks is presently in his fifth term representing Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Huntsville, also known as “the Rocket City.”

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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