Hauntingly fascinating is this speech by William Safire (most famous these days for his "On Language" column in the New York Times), drafted for President Richard Nixon to read in the event of a mishap during the Apollo 11 mission that would have stranded Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
Read the full text here [via kottke.org]. —John Mahoney