Apollo Astronauts Visit Bush Library

Some of America's space pioneers visited Aggieland Thursday to share their stories and a movie with a packed audience at the Bush Library.

Former President Bush hosted astronauts from the Apollo program at a screening of the documentary, "The Wonder of It All," a Jeffrey Roth film highlighting the personal stories of the men who went to the moon for the first time.

The film and the Apollo reunion coincides with the Bush Library's exhibit on the space program, a presentation in conjunction with the Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin and the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

President Bush emotionally welcomed the seven men, tearing up once he introduced the Apollo members to the capacity crowd at his library.

"Thank you for all you've done for this great country of ours," the president said.

Charles Duke, who walked on the moon as part of Apollo 16, recalled numerous occasions that George Bush had welcomed members of the space program over the years.

"We were just delighted with his company, his friendship, his love for the space program, and delighted to see that this is part of the LBJ and here and NASA," Duke said.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon when he rode on the Apollo 11 mission, said exhibits like the Bush Library's harken back to a much different era.

"The way that we treated things then as far as the public support and the enamoring of these pioneering efforts just doesn't exist anymore," Aldrin said.

Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, spent time walking the exhibit, seeing the history in pictures and artifacts, and remembering the mark left by him and his colleagues.

"You know it all happened, and you know it's all part of your life somewhere back there, but sometimes, it almost doesn't seem real," Cernan said.

Other astronauts in attendance were Alan Bean (Apollo 12), Joe Kerwin (Skylab 2), Ken Mattingly (Apollo 16) and John Young (Apollo 16).

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