Saturday, February 01, 2003

I was in middle school and I remember my teacher taking us into the library and wheeling the television in on a cart. At the time, I didn't realize the enormity of the event I was witnessing. Since that day, I have been enamored with NASA and space travel. I can probably tell you more about the Apollo space program than any other. We lost the astronauts of the Challenger seventy-three seconds after take-off and the astronauts of Apollo I during a routine dress rehearsal on the launchpad, now the astronauts of the Columbia have perished so close to home.

This morning, I awoke to a loud noise. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window...didn't see anything so I stumbled back to bed. Little did I know what was happening over the skies of north Texas. My heart hurts for those 7 brave individuals and their loved ones. I was reminded of the brilliant speech by Ronald Reagan after the Challenger tragedy in which he said, "I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them."

It was true sixteen years ago, and it is still true today.

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