To those coming after: We cannot tell on what future day – beings of our own kind or perhaps from some other corner of the cosmos, will come upon this message but for those coming after, we wish to record three things:
First, we salute these astronauts, the first two of our human race who with faith and courage have voyaged far beyond the familiar limits of our earthly home to the Moon. It is certain that their mission ushers in the greatest adventure of life since its primaeval beginnings on this planet, Earth.
Second, as members of our human race thus thrust among the stars, we pledge ourselves to work towards ensuring that the technology which has made it possible and the resources which may be discovered will be used for the benefit of all mankind irrespective of terrestrial divisions of race or creed or levels of development.
Third and finally, we wish to set down the facts about the people for whom I speak. We are a small nation of some 700,000 souls living on the shoulder of South America in a country some 83,000 square miles in area. Our ancestors came from nearly every corner of the planet Earth and our people today profess a variety of creeds and of ways of living. But in a world in which divisions deepen and where too often one man’s hand is set against his brother, we are proud that we have given to our time an example of how out of diversity we have made one people, one nation – with one destiny.
In working out this destiny, we have developed institutions based on the recognition of the equality of all men, forms of government in which all can participate and a system of justice which protects the weak. With the help of friendly nations, and working together, we are embarked on the challenging task of abolishing disease and poverty from our midst, and of developing our economy so that it can support a worthy level of living for our people. We have, likewise, striven hard to ensure that men everywhere are free to determine their own way of life.
We do not know what shall be the judgment of history but we would be well pleased if on some later day when this is read, it is said of us that we strove greatly to advance the dignity of all men.
— Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham