When I saw Discovery on the back of that 747, few words could truly describe the emotions that I had flowing through me: excitement, pride, and yet at the same time disappointment and sadness. To me the Space Shuttle program was one of those things that made America unique. With the end of that program, an era truly has ended. Our space program was once the pride of a nation and the envy of the world. Now, we have no manned space program for the foreseeable future.
President Kennedy once said, “The eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond…” We need to rekindle that spirit in our youth, especially in these tough economic times. That is what the shuttle program meant to me: hope for a better tomorrow. So this flyby of the Nation’s Capital and the two flyovers of Arlington National Cemetery for the crews of Columbia and Challenger was a fitting ending to the Shuttle program. It reminded the world what America has done and what she is still to do. Thank you NASA. You truly have been and remain an inspiration to the nation and the world.
IWP Class of 2014
Photos by David Roush, Terra Nova Imaging