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Pray for Columbia: They chose to go

Cruz M. Bustamante Lieutenant Governor State of California

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice University regarding our nation’s space efforts. He said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” As our 35th president set our nation on its course for the moon, he asked God’s blessing on “the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.”

Over the past 40 years, a select group of unique men and women have courageously moved our understanding of the universe forward. The seven Columbia astronauts chose to do just that. Their willingness to serve our country will be a living testimony to their selfless character and indomitable patriotism.

As President Kennedy keenly observed, the space program, by nature, is full of uncertainty and risks. The Columbia crew understood those risks and countered them with discerning resolve and answerable courage. They intended to win against the odds so that all of us could share in the victory of their mission, research and leadership. Today, the world shares the richness of their legacy for one reason: They “chose to go.” Our prayers are with their families.




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