February 1st, 2003

Brian and Anne

RIP Space Shuttle Columbia, Crew

Laura called this morning to ask if we have heard the news. Hope she will have a chance today to talk to her daughter, who has been greatly looking forward to being an astronaut when she grows up.

Last night the snow came down beautifully, and we enjoyed a walk in the woods before bed. Today it rests heavily, sodden under a gray sky. The regular drip, drip, drip from the eaves seems an appropriate reflection of the tears that have been coming to our eyes from time to time since Laura first told us the news.

I had aimed to have a restful morning, and started it out well with reading in bed, cooking oatmeal for both of us, and delaying Bill from getting up. Now the morning is over, and I'm going back to bed to finish my book. Rest and resettling of house and mind are the order of the day. It has been quite a push with the job hunt and Confusion. I hope to write up my report on the latter by the end of the weekend.
Brian and Anne

letter I sent to NPR at 10:54 a.m.

Dear Friends,

I am disturbed that despite everyone's assurances that the space shuttle
disaster could not be a terrorist attack, that is the main focus of the
discussion I am hearing right now on the radio. In time, we will know what
caused this terrible loss. Right now, you could be reporting actualities.
The actuality here is that 7 very brave crew members were just lost on a
mission that represents one of the greatest accomplishments of the human
race, and of our country. I have seen a space shuttle launch and soar; when
it works, it is a triumph. Today, it is a tragedy, but it is most important
that we not let it hamstring the space program like the backlash of the
Challenger explosion did. Those lives that were lost belonged to people
dedicated to a dream and willing to take the risks. Millions of people
support that dream, and have built it over the last 40 years. It is the
dream we should focus on today, and the courage, and the necessity of
moving onward toward that dream in recognition of the bravery and
accomplishment and dedication to that dream shown by the crew that we just

We mourn, but we should press on. It's what they would have us do, what we
need to do as a nation.

The nation has spent too many hours and days talking about security - don't
do that today. Talk about triumph. Talk about the space program. Talk
about the accomplishments of our crews, both those lost and those who are
still with us. They will bravely rise again, with our support, in the space
shuttle program. Talk about that.


--Anne KG Murphy