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Rep. Putnam: Honoring Crew Members of Space Shuttle Columbia - February 04, 2003

Status Report From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2003

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Putnam) is recognized for 5 minutes.

   Mr. PUTNAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the seven brave men and women of the Space Shuttle Columbia: Commander Rick Husband; Pilot William McCool; Payload Commander Michael Anderson; Specialist Kalpana Chawla; Specialist David Brown; Specialist Laurel Clark; and Specialist Ilan Ramon.

   Today America and the entire world grieves with the families and victims of the Space Shuttle Columbia. While there is no way one can adequately express in words the sense of sorrow that we all feel, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of tragedy, and know their loss was part of a larger manifest destiny of human understanding, the continual exploration, the continual search for knowledge below our seas, in our heavens, around this Earth, and in planets beyond, a part of the continued tradition of American leadership in exploration, discovery, and technology.

   We have lost seven brave individuals, men and women, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. We will never forget their courage, bravery, and service to our Nation. Each of these individuals was a pioneer who gave their lives in the name of science and exploration.

   They epitomized the best that America and mankind have to offer, and their efforts will not be lost or forgotten. We must finish the quest that they started, and we must continue on with our manned space exploration. I believe the crew of Columbia would expect nothing less.

   While America mourned your tragic loss, we will never forget your heroism. You will forever be remembered in our hearts and in our minds as heroes.

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