or if I may say Buzz,
It is a very great honour for me to send a message to you to wish you a fantastic 90th birthday today.
In 1969 - Jesus Christ, just over 50 years ago - I was a little boy and was glued to the tv screen (my dad had a small black and white tv at the time) and watched you walking on the Moon. I thought you were the greatest explorers since Christopher Columbus. You and all your fellow astronauts have inspired all mankind all over the world. Space travel brings the best out of people since humans are wanderers and explorers. The world needs more people with the project Apollo spirit. You astronauts have shown us what mankind can achieve when they set their mind to somehting. You have walked on the Moon!!!!! Incredible but very true! You are one of only 12 humans who have walked on the Moon, WOW! We can only sing "Fly me to the Moon", but you have flown to the Moon in reality!! And you have seen amazing things, you are one of only 27 people who have seen the full circle of the Earth with their own eyes. Seeing this with your own eyes must have been a fantastic experience. I admired your sense of humour when you came down the ladder of the LM and said something to Neil Armstrong like: "I hope I didn't close the hatch, otherwise we won't get in anymore". And I admired the verses of a psalm from the Bible you cited during the live broadcasted speeches of all 3 astronauts the evening before splash-down: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the Moon and the stars, which you have set in place", etc. Very, very nice words!
So in July 1969 I was a little boy that was glued to the tv screen. In July last year, 50 years later and 50 years older, I discovered a website where on the occasion of the 50th anniversary you could follow the full Apollo 11 mission as it happened 50 years ago, a sort of live stream or re-living experience, the full 9-day mission, 24 hours a day, 200 hours in total. Over 3000 people started to follow the Apollo 11 reliving experience. We had everything: all images, all communication between yourself and your 2 collegues and all communication between all 3 of you and Mission Control, and also a transcript of all communications. So it was like we were working in Mission Control! To this reliving experience also a chat was added: we could chat with people interested in space travel from all over the world. There were people from the USA, Australia and Europe. We were a worldwide team! Some people really knew al lot about space travel, some were real scientists. I've learned a lot of new things about space science from these guys, f.i. the Lagrange point. Of course we also experienced the time difference between the continents. When the European chatters called it a day and were go for bed insertion :-), often after midnight, it was still afternoon in America and already noon the following day in Australia. When I came back on line the following day I asked the chatters from the other continents: "What has happened in the meantime with Apollo 11?". It was an EPIC chat. After some time everyone started to think that the mission of Apollo 11 was happening NOW, not 50 years ago. I never thought in 1969 when I was a little boy that 50 years later in my life I would commemorate Apollo 11 in such a way. It was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. It was like if we have flown to the Moon together with you, Buzz, and with your 2 collegues. I think I may say I was one of the most active writers on the chat and I still have contact with some 'collegue astronauts', probably friendships for life.
I think that a future Moon or Mars base should be named after you, Buzz. Or else a spacecraft, planet or Moon 🙂
As an amateur musician (trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium) I got the idea to play Happy birthday for you, intertwined with the American anthem, but since you are a religious person I've played it on a real church organ for you and I've made a video of it and the church organ and myself were decorated with the logos of Apollo 11 and NASA. It would be a very great honour for me if you would watch it. I'll send the video to Linn LeBlance of your Ventures Team if you don't mind.
I wish you a fantastic birthday, Buzz, and wish you many more years in good health and very much hope that you will witness the first new Moon landing. And thank you for motivating mankind, for showing us what mankind can do if they set their mind to something! People all over the world should have more Apollo attitude!
You have had and still have 'The Right Stuff', Buzz!
All the best!
André Huys from Aalter in Flanders, Belgium
P.S. I "Apollogize" 🙂 for my long message .
Aalter in Flanders, Belgium