the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Hail Columbia

The Beatles said it best:

"I read the news today, oh boy..."

I hate when people tell me to turn on the news, and this morning is no exception.

In the coming days, there will be much speculation, supposition, analysis, and the inevitable media circus. Our space program, which I truly believe is the only long-term hope for the survival of all humanity, will surely grind to a sudden halt. And our nation will grieve along with the families of those astronauts who are now lost.

What will be important, and hopefully not lost among the sorrow and din, are the words of Ilan Ramon of Israel, who wished dearly for peace.

"When we go up to space, Earth is one unit, unity, no borders are seen from there. And lately, I think, in the last 10 or 20 years, with all the communication and information revolution, Earth became a kind of global village, and nothing more than space can contribute to that."

"I think people are very happy to be distracted by my flight and NASA flights, maybe to forget a little bit of their problems and get out there with us."

"The world looks marvelous from up here, so peaceful, so wonderful and so fragile."

It is this vision that we must hold to if humanity is to survive itself. It is this vision of peace and unity that we must be true to, to aspire to, and to one day make reality.

Farewell, Columbia; your dream will live forever in our hearts.

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