In Memory of.......

Ask your friends, parents, grandparents a question. What day do you most remember? (The kind of day you remember everything about). Your friends will undoubtedly say 911 your parents might say the day Princess Di was killed, and your grandparents might say the day JFK was shot or when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. But ask me, and something else comes to mind.
It had been a long week at school. One of those weeks that never seemed to end, so I decided to sleep in on my well deserved Saturday off. When I finally did awake I went through the traditional morning events shower and shave just like everybody else does. Put on the old pajama pants and went down stairs to get some breakfast. I had just finished pouring myself a bowl of cereal, when the phone rang. Hoping it was Kim calling I answered. “Brian its Dad, it the TV on?”.” No” I said as I had just woke up. “Well there is something wrong with the shuttle”. “Really” I responded. Not initially thinking it was too bad. I hung up the phone walked over to the living room and flipped on CNN.
At first all they knew was that NASA had lost communication with the space shuttle during reentry. But knowing NASA as I do I thought to myself, “Yeah that happens every time the shuttle enters the atmosphere because the plasma off the shuttle creates a shell around the shuttle (like in Apollo 13). I sat in front of the TV watching like a hawk. Then it came. “We have amateur footage of the Shuttle Columbia breaking apart over Texas!” My heart Dropped into the basement. It was Columbia I had saw just a few years earlier soar majestically into the sky when we went on a vacation to Florida (it was my favorite). The footage came on the TV. Shaky and a little blurry it showed a fireball streaking through the sky. “Looks ok to me” I thought they always look like that when they reenter(a fireball streeking across the sky). Just when I thought ______ I saw a piece veer off to from the main ball. “Oh god it’s really happening. I immediately got on the phone and called all the members of FSFI to make sure they were watching and call an emergency meeting for that afternoon.
I watched all morning never noticing I had never eaten a bite of my cereal. When the first of my team arrived Joe (my vice president). I was actually close to tears. We immediately began to work on a design for our rocket that would somehow commemorate the crew of Columbia. After a few hours we came up with a design that would not only memorialize the crew of Columbia, but all the valiant astronauts that have died boldly going where no man has gone before. We would paint the rocket to resemble the national astronaut memorial in Kennedy space center. Similar to the Vietnam wall only this one has the names of American Astronauts.
All the work done that year was done in recognition of our fallen friends. When we finally unveiled the final rocket it was not adorned with flames or dragons. Just Gloss Black, waving flag nosecone, and the names in gold of our countries fallen astronauts. That rocket remains to this day my favorite of the three we made. It really had a certain feeling to it you couldn’t explain. And on July 26 2003 our rocket soared into the blue for our friends.

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