SPACIOUS SKIES OF THE COLUMBIA SHUTTLE

By Bob Gaut


John Gillespie Magee, Jr. 
Rick Husband 
William McCool
Laurel Clark 
Kalpana Chawla
Ilan Ramon 
Michael Anderson 
David Brown 


Manned missions seemed commonplace
before this uncommon disaster.
Grief is spurred by another horror
science failed to master.

Any glamor assigned to being an astronaut
has tarnish on the shine.
Seven grieving families and our nation
contemplate another shrine.

We know of our confined earthly horizons
are unlike those in deep space.
All mankind, we observe, is diminished
by disasters here we may face.

Living on the outer edge, as we are aware,
is what true explorers do.
Its that sudden rendezvous with death
that shocks both me and you.

Our faith tells us of a better place
wešve called the promised land.
This brave crew of the Columbia is now
held in our Holy Fatheršs hand.

We will still sing of spacious skies
with the usual patriotic flare.
Yet, from now on we must also sing with
a greater measure of prayer.

Bob Gaut
2-2-03




In Memoriam of the crew of STS-107

High Flight

By Helen Steiner Rice

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. 
Rick Husband 
William McCool
Laurel Clark 
Kalpana Chawla
Ilan Ramon 
Michael Anderson 
David Brown 

When I must leave you for a little while
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;

Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!


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