When Apollo 11 neared the moon in July 1969, the editors of The New York Times felt their coverage of the first step on lunar soil should go beyond headlines and photos to embrace an achievement shared by all humanity. So they asked Pulitzer Prize-winner Archibald MacLeish to write a poem. The day after Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr. walked on the moon, the front page contained these words:

You were a wonder to us, unattainable, a longing past the reach of longing, a light beyond our light, our lives—perhaps a meaning to us . . . our hands have touched you in your depth of night.

That day, through the hands of others, we touched the moon.