Press Release

Lampson Floor Statement on House Resolution Honoring the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2003
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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Nick Lampson gave the following statement on the House floor this afternoon in support of H. Res. 51, honoring the crew of the space shuttle Columbia:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support this resolution honoring the Columbia shuttle and her crew. Many of my colleagues have and will express the impact that this tragedy has had on our nation far more eloquently than I could.

“I share their feelings, but I would like to talk about what the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia means to the 9th District of Texas, the home of Johnson Space Center.

“While the Clear Lake area, shares the national vision for an aggressive and exciting manned space program, back home the space shuttle and the International Space Station take on and even more personal dimension. All of the astronauts in the NASA program, including the seven aboard the Columbia, are part of our community. They are our friends and neighbors, their kids go to school with our kids, they shop at the same grocery stores and pray at the same churches and synagogues.

“The employees and contractors at Johnson Space Center are connected to the astronauts not just at work, but in everyday life. The community at JSC is an extended family. Amidst all the lofty talk, ceremonies and resolutions, let us not forget that a community and seven families lost friends, brothers, fathers, sons, wives, sisters, mothers and daughters.

“Back in Clear Lake, right of the campus at Johnson, there is a place called Frenchie’s. It’s a place were astronauts and employees go to gather after work, share their experiences and bond in a very special way. I stopped by there Saturday evening and wanted to report back to you what I saw and heard.

“There was a feeling of crushing sadness and lost, but also a hope that the vision and dream that those seven heroes died for will not be lost, but instead, will be reborn. That their loss will remind the American people of the great challenge we face and the prospect of a better world that the space program gives us.

“I speak today not just as a Member of Congress, but as part of a community that firmly believes in what Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair and Ilan Ramon gave their lives for. On behalf of the 9th District of Texas and the people of Johnson Space Center, I urge this country and this body to go forward, support this resolution and support the continued presence of America in space. Thank you.”

SpaceRef staff editor.