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The Quizical Prophecy [views and thoughts from some kansas folks ]

06/06/2004

I was going to slam the Popes remarks on American self-centeredness today but I decided not too. With the passing of one of the 20th century's true titans it would be inappropriate of me to do so, in recognitian of the Popes help in ending the cold war and in honor of my fallen hero President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The left in there most insidious manners are already dancing on the grave of this man. I can go down the list and debunk or defend every myth they have about him, from Nicaragua to Homelessness but I wont. As President George H. W. Bush has said, "I will never apoligize for America". Hence we as Americans should never apoligize for Reagan, his policies from reducing the tax-rates to increasing military spending, although costly did far more than just increase deficits they created millions of jobs, forced the USSR to spend themselves into oblivian and created a military force that the world has never seen before.

President Reagan instilled in us a pride we had not seen since the 1950's. His infectious hope and belief in what America can do and would do is something that we may never see again in the Presidency.

I was a kid in 1984 when he got re-elected in a historic landslide. We did one of our class polls on who would win, me being unique and different was the only kid in a class of 30 to vote for Mondale. I guess the old adage is true " If you are a conservative when you are young you have no heart, but if you are a liberal when you are old then you have no brain" I guess my liberalism came a little early. 2 years later in my 6th grade class we were watching the Space Shuttle Challenger take off, and then tragedy hit, there wasnt a dry eye in that room or that school, it is a memory that will forever be ingrained in my mind. President Reagans speech later on is what sealed for me my love for him and country. So I would like to end this blog today with his own words on the Challenger disaster:


Address to the nation on the Challenger disaster
Oval Office
January 28, 1986



A few hours after the disaster, this speech was delivered to the American people via nationwide radio and television.
648 words

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."





Goodbye Dutch, we will win one for the Gipper.


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