Tribute to Astronauts

I was working at NASA Ames Research Center when the shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch.  When I heard the news, I walked across the campus to the main auditorium, set for hours watching the live feed from Cape Kennedy and crying.  To all of the Astronauts who have lost their lives I offer this small tribute.

We live because we dare to dream and to risk our very lives in the fulfillment of those dreams. 
Godspeed my brothers and sisters . . .

This is for the friends we had of old, friends for a lifetime's love and cheer.
This for the friends who come no more, who cannot be among us here.

We will not forget, while we're alive, these hallowed dead, these deeds of fame.
Where they have gone, we will follow soon, into the darkness and the flame.

Then we shell rise, our duty done, freed from all pain and sorrow here,
We'll leave behind ambition's sting and keep alive our honor dear.

And they will stand beside us then all whom we loved and hoped to see
And they shall sing, a glad AMEN to the final victory.

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire.
Bring me my ship -- Oh clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire.

We shall not cease our faithful watch nor shall the sword sleep in our hand,
Till we have gone beyond the stars to join that fair immortal band.

The above quote is from the novel “Against the Odds” by Elizabeth Moon.

© Bob Henderson 2020