Message from Ed Fendell and Gene Kranz
The following speech was written by White Flight Gene Kranz for a completely different purpose than your reunion. I Ed Fendell who visited Canberra enroute to CRO to support AS-501 to brief the personnel at Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla on the different aspects of the Apollo program, and worked with the personnel from those two tracking stations during the Apollo program have slightly modified that speech. I feel that you all are members of the team that made Manned Spaceflight what it is today, and you should be fully proud of all your accomplishments in your careers, and your roles on putting Man on the Moon.
WE SHOULD CONSIDER OURSELVES LUCKY TO HAVE LIVED WHEN WE DID
FOR MOST OF OUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER, WE LIVED A DREAM
WE KNEW WHERE WE WERE GOING, AND WE LOVED EVERY MOMEMT WE SPENT GETTING THERE
IN OUR EARLY CAREER WE WERE CHALLENGED BY A BRASH, YOUNG AND ARTICULATE US PRESIDENT (JOHN F KENNEDY) TO LIVE A DREAM
WE RESPONDED TO THAT CALL AND WROTE THE BOOK ON MANY OF HISTORYS GREATEST MOMENTS
OUR TECHNOLOGIES WERE PRIMITIVE, BUT IT WAS THE BEST WE COULD MUSTER
SUCCESS IN OUR WORK WAS NEVER A GIVEN, FOR THE MARGINS WERE SLIM AND THE ODDS LONG
WHEN OUR TECHNOLOGY FAILED, AS IT OFTEN DID,
ALL WE HAD WAS OURSELVES, THE HUMAN FACTOR
IT IS THE FEELING YOU GET EVERYDAY WHEN YOU WALK UP TO YOUR CONSOLE IN THE CONTROL ROOM
IT IS WHAT WE MUST DEPEND ON WHEN THE GLITTERING TECHNOLOGY SEEMS SUDDENLY USELESS
SO WHAT WE LACKED IN TECHNOLOGY, WE MADE UP IN GUTS, HARD WORK AND THE DETERMINATION TO SUCCEED
ALONG THE WAY WE LEARNED MUCH, WE LEARNED ABOUT OURSELVES AND ABOUT EACH OTHER
WE LEARNED THE MEANING OF TRUST, A PERSONS WORD WAS THEIR BOND
A HANDSHAKE WAS A COMMITMENT
WE KNEW THAT IF WE WERE IN TROUBLE, THE PEOPLE SITTING TO EACH SIDE, OR IN THE BACKROOM OR AT SOME OTHER LOCATION WOULD HELP US OUT
A SET OF COMMON VALUES TIED US TOGETHER
THE VALUES GENERATED A CHEMISTRY THAT AMPLIFIED OUR INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM CAPABILITIES AND SOMEHOW MADE US BETTER THAN WE WOULD OTHERWISE BE:
THIS CHEMISTRY DEVELOPED A COMMUNICATIONS THAT WAS VIRTUALLY INTUITIVE
YOU KNEW WHEN ANOTHER PERSON NEEDED HELP, HE NEVER HAD TO ASK: IT JUST ARRIVED
THE TOUGHER IT GOT THE BETTER WE BECAME
TEAMWORK WAS SPECTACULAR, IT WAS UNSELFISH AND LOVING
WHEN NEEDED, PEOPLE STEPPED FORWARD, THEY MADE THEIR CONTRIBUTION AND THEN RETURNED TO THEIR ROLE IN THE TEAM
WE UNDERSTOOD THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I AND WE
SIMPLE WORDS PROPELLED US FORWARD
TOUGHNESS MEANT PLUMBING INTO THE DEPTHS OF ACCOUNTABILITY, STANDING UP FOR OUR BELIEFS, AND ACCEPTING A ROUGHER ROAD
COMPTETANCE WAS THE ACCEPTED STANDARD
IT WAS THE ESSENCE OF EXCELLENCE AND THE PRICE OF ADMISSION TO OUR RANKS AS CONTROLLERS
FOURTY YEARS HAS NOT DIMINISHED OUR EFFORT, IN FACT ENHANCED IT
WE WERE THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME
WE TOOK A MAN INTO SPACE, WE RENDEZVOUSED, WE DOCKED, WE DID EVAS AND WE PLACED A MAN ON THE MOON AND BROUGHT HIM BACK SAFELY TO EARTH
MY FAVORITE QUOTE BY JOHN F KENNEDY IS NOT ABOUT THE MOON, IT IS ABOUT LIVING: OF THOSE TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS REQUIRED
WHEN AT SOME FUTURE DATE, WHEN THE HIGH COURT OF HISTORY SITS IN JUDGMENT ON EACH ONE OF US, WHETHER WE FULFILLED OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN WHATEVER JOB WE HELD. WE WILL BE MEASURED BY THE ANSWERS TO FOUR QUESTIONS:
WERE WE TRULY INDIVIDUALS OF COURAGE?
WERE WE TRULY INDIVIDUALS OF JUDGMENT?
WERE WE TRULY INDIVIDUALS OF INTEGRITY?
WERE WE TRULY INDIVIDUALS OF DEDICATION?
IN THE HIGH COURT OF HISTORY, I BELIEVE, THAT ALL PERSONNEL AT THE AUSTRALIA TRACKING STATIONS WILL BE ABLE TO STEP FORWARD AND CLEARLY SAY YES