TO U. S. ASTRONAUTS
We wish to express our sincere thanks for the message that has been sent by His Excellency President Johnson. We thank you also for the kind words you have said about our country. We are happy to receive you for many reasons: happy because human knowledge, at the present time, is being extended with the hope that mankind would benefit.
We are confident and sure that the world realizes today that as a result of the investigations and as a result of the courage you have shown, all humanity is going to benefit. Of course, it is one thing for us to be sitting at home and to follow events that are transpiring outside, while with extreme personal courage and at great personal risk, on behalf of humanity, you were undertaking a feat that has given you personal satisfaction and brought great honour to the country that you represent. As we said, your undertaking for advancement of science and on behalf of human good can only result in great collaboration of mankind, and as a result of this marvellous feat and achievement, there should be greater benefit to humanity in general.
It is through men that have dedicated themselves to scientific efforts that the human being has made so much progress. And it is because men like you have shown extreme personal courage for the future good of mankind that mankind has accomplished so much in scientific investigations. There is no doubt that through these scientific achievements mankind can advance. We are sure the pleasure accruing from what you have accomplished is not solely confined to ourselves. The pleasure must naturally go to the people of your country and to Us too. The result of your adventurous experiments and works is an admirable contribution from the point of view of all men who are interested in the advancement and progress of human society. Your space flight and subsequent flights that are to be undertaken by men like you give us confidence in the bright future of mankind.
We thank you very much for the presents, and please convey our heartfelt congratulations to President Johnson and all those people who are responsible for this. Again we would like to take particular note of your heroism and dedication to the cause of science.
Sept. 21, 1965.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 104 –