Continue into the stars

When Columbus and his crew set sail to discover new worlds in 1492, there were dangers which challenged them.

When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in the 17th century, many dangers awaited them.

When Lewis and Clark set out for the West, harsh weather and hunger were just two of the obstacles which they had to overcome.

On May 5, 1961, when the U.S. launched the first American, astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. into space, no one knew what awaited him in the darkness and infinity.

Much was the same when the crew of the Columbia launched on Jan. 16 on a science mission.

The men and women of the Columbia assumed great risk in their service &045; and they knew the risk they were taking. They faced that risk willingly.

In remarks President George W. Bush made to the nation Saturday regarding the space shuttle Columbia, he stated: &uot;The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration and discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on … May God continue to bless the mourning families, and may God continue to bless America.&uot;

We at the Reporter share those sentiments.

The seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia had a dream. And they died for that dream.

One way we can remember them as a nation, aside from makeshift memorials and the like, is by continuing that dream.

We honestly believe that is the way they would have wanted it. And we believe the crew is where they always dreamed to be &045; smiling down on us from the stars