“In Event of Moon Disaster”, July 18, 1969.
White House speechwriter, William Safire, was asked to write a speech that President Nixon would make in case the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.
It was never delivered, and this speech was quietly tucked away into Nixon’s records.
Source: Nixon Library
I am convinced that Bill Safire cried either before or as he wrote this. Because good writing — as this obviously is — puts you completely into the world of what you’re writing, and he wasn’t even considering fiction. This was a very, very real possibility.
On a less serious note, the technical writer in me squees at how the ending is written as a formal procedure, ahahaha. And man, “widows-to-be,” what a phrase.