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Just in Case

Joe Holley

Among the many speeches Bill Safire wrote for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew was one he was surely glad Nixon never had to give. On the occasion of the Apollo moon landing in July 1969, he wrote two speeches -- one congratulating the astronauts and one eulogizing their sacrifce in case the moonwalkers missed the rendezvous with the orbiting command module to return to Earth.

Among the sentiments: "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."

Safire, the longtime columnist for the New York Times, died in Rockville Sunday at age 79.

By Joe Holley |  September 28, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  Joe Holley
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