Message from the Administrator: Day of Remembrance – Jan. 26, 2012

Letterhead of NASA Administrator

Day of Remembrance – Jan. 26, 2012


This last week of January, as we do every year, the NASA family honors those who have lost their lives carrying out our missions and pays tribute to their lives and memories.


In the face of our greatest accomplishments, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that each time men and women board a spacecraft, their actions carry great risk along with the opportunity for great discoveries and the chance to push the envelope of our human achievement.


So on this Day of Remembrance, we honor the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, as well as other members of the NASA family who died supporting NASA’s mission of exploration. We thank them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifices in the service of our nation.


As a family, we truly pull together, and our recovery from each of these tragedies has been heartbreaking and inspiring.  I thank all of you for the inspiration you provide to each other and me as we open the next great chapter of exploration.


Today, I lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery for these fallen heroes, and many of you, as in past years, join me in reflection on their lives and the greater purpose we all serve to reach new heights through our actions.  Across the country, all flags at NASA Headquarters and the NASA centers will be flown at half-mast in memory of our colleagues lost in the cause of exploration.


In memory of our colleagues, I ask all of you in the NASA family once again to always make your opinions known and be unafraid to speak up to those in authority, so that SAFETY CAN ALWAYS BE OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE, and the sacrifices of our friends and colleagues will not be in vain.


We cherish the memories of our lost colleagues and friends and work hard every day to preserve and build on their legacies.  Their lives and work are inspiring each of us every day to carry out the missions of tomorrow and increase our capabilities to do more, learn more, and discover more.  There is no greater tribute we can pay!  Please join me in working to fulfill the dreams of these men and women for the future.


May God’s richest blessings be on the memory of our fallen comrades and on all of us on this solemn day of remembrance!


Charlie B.