Tonight we witnessed an incredible event, the launching of the space shuttle Endeavor. What an amazing sight it was! We watched from our dock on the small lake that we live on and the view was incredible. The shuttle came up over the trees across the lake and lit up the sky with its brilliance. It looked like a bright, flaming ball of fire as it sped across the sky. As it separated, it flashed even brighter. We were able to see it for several minutes as it made its way into outer space.
The conditions were perfect for viewing the shuttles’ launching. You couldn’t have asked for a clearer sky and the stars and the full moon were the perfect co-stars to this phenomenal spectacle. It would have been impossible to see this without being in awe of the entire space program. It is one thing to read that we send astronauts into space but to see it left me feeling so proud of our country’s accomplishments and of the brave men and women who are willing to take this risk for science.
We’ve come so far since that first walk in space and one can only imagine what the future can bring. When I was young, we certainly didn’t think that in our lifetime on a clear, starlit night seven brave Americans would take off to a space station to do “home repairs” on a space station that houses astronauts for months at a time until their replacement arrives. This was the stuff that you saw in the movies and read in science fiction books and now it is reality.
If I seem to be a little carried away with this “routine” flight tonight, it’s because I am. We need to have these moments when we recognize the good that is going on in our country and to reaffirm our faith hat we will persevere and continue to be a great nation. I can tell you as I stood out watching the moon reflect over the water and listened to the splashing of the occasional frog, I unabashedly felt like singing the Star Spangled Banner.
I am proud to be an American and wish a safe journey to our men and women on the Endeavor and hope that their mission will be successful.