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Forum:Space Explorers & Workers
Topic:Congressional Gold Medal: Apollo 11, Glenn
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Robert PearlmanOn Friday, August 7, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the bill that awards Congressional gold medals to John Glenn and the crew of Apollo 11.
Robert PearlmanSpeaker of the House John Boehner release
House and Senate Leaders Announce Gold Medal Ceremony for Distinguished Astronauts

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Members of Congress will hold a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony on November 16, 2011 to honor astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

Sen. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat onboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Mr. Collins piloted Apollo 11’s command module. All four have received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded with distinction. The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Congress approved the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act in July 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. S. Con. Res. 29, authorizing the use of the Capitol Rotunda for the ceremony, was recently approved by both the House and the Senate. Additional details will be forthcoming closer to the date of the ceremony.

Robert PearlmanA few more details:
  • The ceremony, which as stated will be held on Nov. 16 in the Capitol Rotunda, will be a ticketed event.

  • The medals' design was chosen in November 2010, which can be seen here.
Robert PearlmanToday's (Nov. 16) ceremony will air live on NASA Television and be streamed through the space agency's website beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST (1600 GMT).

Credit: NASA/Stephanie Schierholz
Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
John Glenn, Apollo 11 astronauts awarded Congressional Gold Medals

The first American astronaut to orbit the Earth and the crew of the first moon landing were bestowed by Congress with its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, during a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (Nov. 16).

Mercury astronaut John Glenn and Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins accepted the medals from Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins, and Glenn are the first NASA astronauts to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Congress bestows the medal as its "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions."

Robert PearlmanPhotos credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

albatronAt risk of sounding like a stick in the mud, and please know that I think these gents are more than deserving, and that the U.S. Mint is a class act, but why on earth does the Apollo 8 crew not get the recognition they deserve? They are every bit as significant as the Apollo 11 crew.

Maybe it's just me.

Robert PearlmanThe Apollo 8 crew has been bestowed a fair number of honors, as individuals and as a crew, including the Collier's Trophy (Lovell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and both he and Borman were presented with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor).

As far as the Congressional Gold Medal, the Apollo 8 crew's mission was a tremendous accomplishment, but as the crew itself acknowleges, it was a still step toward the nation's goal: landing a man on the moon...

BMckayI had the honor of attending the event. It was well done and inspiring. John Glenn looked great and Neil Armstrong gave a good speech.

It was a who's who in the audience. I saw astronauts Franklin Chang-Diaz, Janet Kavandi, Michael Coats, Scott Tingle, Frank Culbertson, Thomas Stafford, Ken Mattingly, Piers Sellers, John Grunsfeld and others like Chris Kraft and one other Flight Director that escapes me. I probably missed a few others as well.

Even the politicans kept their remarks short.

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