Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite - Our Most Trusted Voice is Silent

Walter Cronkite narrated for me and my generation the Kennedy assasination, the Civil Rights marches, the Vietnam War and the Watergate Hearings. But I especially remember his inspired commentary throughout the many 'space shots' of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes. He narrated the historic moon landing coverage on 20 July 1969 (nearly 40 years ago today), which was followed by audiences around the world.

Walter Cronkite has passed away at 92 years of age. He has been called the 'most trusted voice in America' and was remembered today by the folks at NASA Mission Control, as follows:

NASA mission control - click to enlarge

"It is with great sadness that the NASA family learned of Walter Cronkite's passing. He led the transition from print and radio reporting to the juggernaut that became television journalism. His insight and integrity were unparalleled, and his compassion helped America make it through some of the most tragic and trying times of the 20th century."

"From the earliest days of the space program, Walter brought the excitement, the drama and the achievements of space flight directly into our homes. But it was the conquest of the moon in the late 1960s that energized Walter most about exploration. He called it the most important feat of all time and said that the success of Apollo 11 would be remembered 500 years from now as humanity's greatest achievement."
You can hear and see Walter describe the moon landing in this short clip from the series Walter Cronkite Remembers the 20th Century. It brings me goosebumps even now.