Astronaut remembrance day

January 31, 2014
Today is astronaut remembrance day. Today we honour the fallen explorers of the universe. Soyuz 1, Apollo 1, Soyuz-11, Challenger & Columbia,

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor eer eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Gillespie Magee, aviator & poet, 1922-1941

Former president Ronald Reagan's speech after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident on January 28, 1986 was inspired by specific sentences in this poem. See the full speech below.

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