text of bush's address
The crew of the space shuttle Columbia: Colonel Rick Husband, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson, Commander Laurel Clark, Captain David Brown, Commander William McCool, Dr. Kalpana Chawla, and Ilan Ramon
It's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of President Bush, but his brief remarks today in response to the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia made a favorable impression. I believe his sorrow over this tragedy is obvious, but Bush's personality enabled him to say the right words in the right manner. I also, of course, applaud his stated determination to continue America's commitment to space exploration. After the shock of this tragedy come questions. After questions come the answers. But the answers will not hinder, only help, our efforts to reach out into space.
My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At 9 o'clock 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. I join the nation in expressing my shock and grief, and I can only express my condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of this fine crew at their sudden and tragic losss.
The Columbia's lost. There are no survivors.
Onboard was a crew of seven--Colonel Rick Husband, Lieutenant 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 this 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.