February 01, 2003
"Seven Souls We Mourn"
In a speech made from the Cabinet Room of the White House, the president delivered a moving tribute to the crew of the Columbia:
My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At 9:00 a.m. this morning, Mission Control in Houston lost contact with our Space Shuttle Columbia. A short time later, debris was seen falling from the skies above Texas. The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.
On board was a crew of seven: Colonel Rick Husband; Lt. Colonel Michael Anderson; Commander Laurel Clark; Captain David Brown; Commander William McCool; Dr. Kalpana Chawla; and Ilan Ramon, a Colonel in the Israeli Air Force. These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity.
In an age when space flight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket, and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the Earth. These astronauts knew the dangers, and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more.
All Americans today are thinking, as well, of the families of these men and women who have been given this sudden shock and grief. You're not alone. Our entire nation grieves with you. And those you loved will always have the respect and gratitude of this country.
The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.
In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.
May God bless the grieving families, and may God continue to bless America.
LinksSFC Paul R. Smith MoH Tribute
CPL Jason L. Dunham MoH Tribute
LT Michael P. Murphy MoH Tribute
MA2 Michael Monsoor MoH Tribute
MSG Woodrow W. Keeble MoH Tribute
PFC Ross McGinnis MoH Tribute
Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
Statues of Servicemen Fund
VFW Military Assistance Program
Wounded Warrior Project
Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Adopt A Platoon
Marines-Law Enforcement Foundation
Special Ops Warrior Foundation
America's Heroes of Freedom
Adopt A Sniper
Operation USO Care Package
Operation Military Pride
Books For Soldiers
Vets For Freedom
Gathering of Eagles
Faces of the Fallen
Reagan Presidential Library
Creditsdesign by maystar
template via blogskins
powered by blogger