It’s been a day full of emotional and moving memorials to the tragedy that was 9/11. The most compelling for me American astronaut Frank Culbertson’s letter from the International Space Station in reaction to the day (via The Atlantic). Here are a couple of his lines (via NASA.gov) that hit me in the heart:
It’s difficult to describe how it feels to be the only American completely off the planet at a time such as this. The feeling that I should be there with all of you, dealing with this, helping in some way, is overwhelming. I know that we are on the threshold (or beyond) of a terrible shift in the history of the world.
Many things will never be the same again. Not just for the thousands and thousands of people directly affected by these horrendous acts of terrorism, but probably for all of us. We will find ourselves feeling differently about dozens of things, including probably space exploration, unfortunately.
It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are.
Man, Culbertson nailed it. I mean, NASA’s shut down the space shuttle program since then. The only way for us to get to the ISS or the moon or anywhere is to hitch a ride with Russia or someone.
What a horrible day that was.
Here’s to finding more and more good days, to not letting the bad guys and/or our fear win.