TLS, two pages, 8 x 10.5, NASA letterhead, December 6, 1962. Letter to Leonard V. Fulton, in full: “I was touched by your letter of concern for the future of your son Timothy, written on his second birthday. He—and all the other Timothies his age—is certainly entitled to an opportunity to attain his true destiny as a creature of thought, adventure, and creativity. Whether he gets it or not depends on you and me. Timothy is heir to our generation. You and I cannot lose our identity nor escape our responsibilities by considering ourselves an infinitesimal, insignificant part of all mankind. Humanity is an aggregate of individuals. We can be yanked out of the rank and file and held squirming at judgment’s bar at any time to answer for our actions. As our security is composed of individuals, its regulation should be based on the individual, on his rights, dignity, and worth. It seems to me that civilization has reached the point where the deep and age-old divisions among men and nations must be healed. The common goals of freedom, truth, justice, peace, and security must be held up within sight and reach of all men. If we can bequeath Timothy such an environment, he can bring his full intellectual and creative powers to bear on the universe around him. He can continue his present exhilarating search for new sights, new sounds, and new knowledge throughout a long and happy life of service to his fellow man. How can you and other men work concretely for peace—and other worthwhile goals? Remember the parable of the servants with varying talents. Each was held responsible for the use of that which was given him. You are an eloquent man. Speak out for that mutual respect and trust among men and nations that will permit us to fuse our bombs into tractors. Remember the illustration that the mighty ships that plow through stormy ocean waters are turned by a tiny rudder.” In fine condition. Written not long after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and amid the ongoing flights of the Mercury Project, this rare and poignant letter shows a side of von Braun not seldom seen, one which reveals his philosophy on personal liberty, the attainment of peace, and the strength and impact of the individual. A unique anticommunist missive from a decidedly crucial, historic period. Pre-certified Zarelli Space Authentication.
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