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February 02, 2003

We must not forget them or why they gave their lives

STS-107 InsignaEveryone deals with grief in different ways and to different degrees. Even though I never knew any of the crew of Columbia personally, I have respect for each of them and been affected by their loss as if a family member died.

Last night the shock of the accident finally passed. At first I wasn't able to fall asleep. Once I did out of exhaustion, after 4AM, I was tormented with graphic nightmares depicting their last moments. Each time I was awaken from these dreams I cried for them like a child. Today I feel completely exhausted and depressed. At this moment I continue to fight back tears as I attempt to put these imagined images of their death out of my head.

I very closely followed the space program since childhood, from its best moments to its worst. I'm too young to have seen us land men on the moon but I watched the entire construction of the International Space Station, its opening, and all it continuous missions. I also witnessed the Challenger launch first hand from my home in South Florida. I remember running inside to turn on the TV to confirm that it might have exploded. I've been to Ames, Goddard, Houston, Kennedy, Langley, Marshall, US Space Camp - Huntsville, US Space Camp - Florida, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. With every opportunity I get, I go again. Every space flight I watch NASA TV religiously, at home, and even at work. I also read all the press releases and stories each day with great interest just to see if I missed anything else.

Even if I wasn't so interested in the space program I know I would still be grieving just as much.

How many doctors and researchers do you know would risk their own lives for research? Hell, most doctors I know don't even do what they do for the love of life, science, or discovery. Rather just so they can purchase that new Porsche and, or land a trophy wife and also a slut mistress.

Meanwhile, our astronauts live modest lives and risk it all to explore space and further our understanding of science. Two were deservedly the biggest heroes in their respective countries and sources of inspiration to people that don't have much to celebrate about.

NASA just didn't loose another seven astronauts, the entire world lost seven wonderful people. We must not forget them or why they were willing to give their lives. It would be sinful if we didn't continue to honor them by continuing the exploration of space. Its what they would have wanted and we must be strong enough and brave as they were to keep it going.

Posted in Random Thought by usrbingeek at 2003-02-02 14:47 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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