CHICAGO--- Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn was joined by Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr.—pioneer on man’s maiden voyage to the moon on Apollo 8 and the world-watched Apollo 13 lunar mission—as Capt. Lovell re-enacts his famous 1968 Christmas Eve Broadcast to Earth with the help of two young Chicago natives who will play the part of the two other crewmen on Apollo 8. The re-enactment, composed of excerpts from the Bible’s first book – Genesis, will take place in front of the Apollo 8 spacecraft on the 35th anniversary of their flight.
“Capt. Jim Lovell is a genuine American hero and I am proud to have him here with us today to re-enact one of the most historic broadcasts of our time,” said Quinn. “If only for one moment, the hopes and dreams of every American were lifted out of the gripping dilemmas here on Earth—the Vietnam War, the assassinations and riots.”
Reading the part of lunar module pilot William Anders will be Blake Sercye, a senior at Fenwick High School from Chicago’s West Side. Sercye – national champion of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Orations Contest – is an AP scholar and National Honors Society member, gospel choir president and a Kairos retreat leader.
Kelsey Mullen – an eighth grader from Ascension High School who came up with the idea to send care packages to troops overseas – will read the part of Mission Commander Frank Borman who delivered the third excerpt from Genesis. Mullen - school vice president – also organized fundraisers following the September 11th attacks, donating $700 to the Red Cross and New York Firefighters Fund and raising $1,400 for the September 11 Orphans Fund.
Also attending are Eagle Scout Craig Reinert, of Troop 57 in Aurora, who is gathering care packages with the VFW in Batavia to ship to the troops in Iraq, and members of the four military families. Brenda Robinzine, whose husband was a Naval reservist mobilized after September 11, will sing the National Anthem and “God Bless America.”
Quinn and Capt. Lovell recently joined up to salute more than 400 Naval reservists returning home from active duty overseas. Capt. Lovell will also speak on behalf of the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, saying that “the need for the Military Family Relief Fund is greater than ever,” at the ceremony.
“We’re honored that Capt. Lovell is promoting the Military Family Relief Fund to assist today’s heroes: the citizen
soldiers on the frontlines and their families on the homefront,” said Quinn. Quinn went on to say that he has established a
website, www.OperationHomefront.org, to directly assist the families of National Guard members and reservists, and
to inform the public of ways to help.
During his NASA career, Capt. Lovell’s accomplishments included being the pilot on the history-making Gemini 7 flight in 1965, Command Module Pilot and Navigator on Apollo 8, where he and fellow crewman were the first humans to leave earth’s gravitational influence and orbit the moon and the perilous “Houston…we’ve got a problem” Apollo 13 mission, which was adapted into a two-time Academy Award-winning movie with Capt. Lovell’s role played by Tom Hanks.
Capt. Lovell is the winner of the Presidential Medal for Freedom, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, two Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and was a member of the prestigious Golden Eagles.
Reenactment of famed Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast December 24,1968
Capt. James Lovell
"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".
Blake Sercye (reading for William Anders, lunar module pilot)
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
Capt. James Lovell (command module pilot)
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
Kelsey Mullen (reading for Frank Borman, Mission Commander)
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas: and God saw that it was good."
Capt. James Lovell
"And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."