Day of Remembrance

A Tragic Anniversary of Space Shuttle Columbia


The tragic destruction of the space shuttle Columbia 10 years ago today (Feb. 1) taught NASA and the nation a tough lesson: Despite the strides that have been made over the years, human spaceflight remains a dangerous proposition. An old Chinese proverb says, "When you see what is right, have the courage to do it." Dr. Laurel Clark, who was lost aboard the space shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003 said, "To me, there's a lot of different things that we do during life that could potentially harm us, and I choose not to stop doing those things." In all of human endeavor, there is danger. It is not possible to completely avoid risk. Even if you choose to hide in your home, some danger still exists. To live is to risk, but there are those, particularly those who work for the betterment of mankind, who risk more than others. From the fire and police officials who entered two buildings struck by terrorists in New York to the seven members of the space shuttle Columbia crew, exploring the final frontier. Without risk, we remain in our caves, never daring to see what lies beyond our immediate sight. As former President Bush said, "Some explorers do not return, and the loss settles unfairly on a few."

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