One morning in late December 1968, we heard the customary hiss as the loudspeaker system began warming up for what we anticipated would be the usual propaganda session from radio Hanoi. To our surprise, however, at 8 a.m., instead of radio Hanoi, we heard a man with a British accent say, "This is the BBC Hong Kong. The American astronauts become the first human beings to come under the gravitational influence of another celestial body." And then the radio went dead.
We never knew whether they wanted us to hear this or if it was a terrible mistake by someone who had been surreptitiously listening to the BBC.
An hour later, we were taken out to wash. The first man out of our cell was Air Force Capt. Kenneth Fisher. We had not rehearsed what happened next. Ken looked up and could see the moon in the clear winter sky. He came to a stop, snapped to attention and saluted the moon. Instantly, the rest of us caught on. As each of us left the cell, we came to a stop, snapped to attention and saluted the moon.
Monday, July 20, 2009
From the Hagerstown (MD) Herald-Mail.