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President's address to the nation on the Columbia shuttle disaster

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1. SOUNDBITE: (English) George W.Bush, US President "My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At nine o'clock this morning, mission control in Houston, lost contact with space shuttle Columbia. A short time later debris was seen falling from the skies above Texas. The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors. On board was a crew of seven, Colonel Rick Husband, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson, Commander Laurel Clark, Captain David Brown, Commander William McCool, Dr Kalpana Chawla and Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli air force. These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity in an age when space flight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the earth. These astronauts knew the dangers and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more. All Americans today are thinking as well of the families of these men and women who have been given this sudden shock and grief. You are not alone, our entire nation grieves with you and those you loved will always have the respect and gratitude of this country. The cause of which they died will continue. Mankind was led into the darkness beyond our world with the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on. In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy, yet further than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah 'Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing'. The same creator who named the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home. May God bless the grieving families and may God continue to bless America." STORYLINE: President George W. Bush sadly informed the American people on Saturday of the worst space tragedy in 17 years, saying "The Columbia's lost. There are no survivors." Bush said the loss of the space shuttle and its seven astronauts "brought terrible news and great sadness to our country." Addressing the nation from the Cabinet Room, Bush said, "The Columbia is lost." Before his remarks, he telephoned the families of the astronauts to console them. "These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity," the president said. The astronauts knew the dangers and they faced them willingly," he said in brief remarks after returning to the White House from a weekend at Camp David, Maryland. Flanked by two flags, Bush spoke slowly, his voice falling almost to a whisper at some points, his brows furrowed and his mouth downturned. Earlier, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, announcing the shuttle's demise, said he had spoken with Bush and the president had offered his "full and immediate support" to determine what had gone wrong and what to do next. O'Keefe spoke at a news conference in Cape Canaveral, Florence. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge coordinated the government response. Under an executive order signed recently by Bush, Ridge is the coordinator of all domestic incidents of this magnitude, even when terrorism is not suspected. "There is no information at this time that this was a terrorist incident," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department. He said, "Obviously the investigation is just beginning, but that is the information we have now." You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/4b0a2f6376dd75af58a639c1a85c6cab Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork
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Text Comments (53)
I was 4 and a half years old when the Columbia was destroyed....
Gaylene Wilson (27 days ago)
cabal evil!!!! murders!!!!
Gaylene Wilson (27 days ago)
NoPCsHere (1 month ago)
As dignified as this presidential address was, it doesn't compare to the late Ronald Reagan's Challenger accident address.
pukalo [CDN] (2 months ago)
Below-average President but a genuinely good human being.
Devil Shoez (3 months ago)
Reagan did it better.
gamehengeful (3 months ago)
I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert the night this happened. About an hour before the show he came out on stage and said that if it had happened earlier in the day he probably would have cancelled the concert then he said a few words in memory of the crew, thought it was a very classy thing to do.
Tobberz (11 months ago)
5 years ago I would not have looked at Bush and thought 'He was a good man', but my opinions seem to have changed.
libbruin alumnus (3 months ago)
Andrewsboy97 (1 year ago)
Notice how they speak from the bible
Stephen Nicholas (1 year ago)
I think he was better then Obama
Loyalmoonie (2 months ago)
Any president - including Trump - is better than Obummer.
ford odion (5 months ago)
Stephen Nicholas me too
Stephen Nicholas (1 year ago)
I was almost 11 when this happened , I member seeing this address on TV when I got home from school
Usman Ghani (1 year ago)
He is a Gentleman.
dark galaxies (1 year ago)
I was almost 4 when this incident occur and I don't remember Bush being president LOL
Raj Misra (1 year ago)
reagan's challenger speech>bush's columbia speech
CaptainAhab117 (1 year ago)
I was very young when he was president, but I think this is my favorite of his presidential addresses.
l (1 year ago)
That feel when Trump manages to make Dubya look presidential and dignified by comparison.
Donald_the_savage 12 (3 months ago)
l being presidential isn’t the most important part of being president though. Bush was fairly presidential, he was just dumb.
Evelyn Wills (1 year ago)
He was a better president!
filipinordabest (1 year ago)
May Gaa- May God bless America. You can see Bush tear up there.
Ghassan jenainaty (1 year ago)
I dont think he ever had tears for those killed in Iraq war
filipinordabest (1 year ago)
Where was Khrushchev or whoever was in office during Soyuz 1? Soyuz 11? MiG plane crash? Maybe there's a radio recording somewhere, commies aren't known to have TVs at every house... Respect to all fallen spacemen.
Hendrick Stoops (1 year ago)
filipinordabest Sadly, those flights were at a time when the Soviet Union preferred to ignore flight failures.
Kenneth Guilford (2 years ago)
Bush was true gentleman, I miss when we had a president who spoke eloquently and with reverence.
James Scholl (2 months ago)
Lul a president who spoke eloquently. Goes to show you have no fucking idea what you are talking about
backinthecrystal (10 months ago)
And you're missing a period in all but one sentence.
Sterling simms (1 year ago)
He called the internet INTERNETS He couldn't pronounce Nuclear He couldn't understand that misunderestimate isn't a word He didn't know what an OBGYN was He could barely speak English what are you talking about eloquent.
MarioLuigiFun (2 years ago)
This reminds me of the Challenger Address from President Reagan
david crystal (9 months ago)
Watch the Reagan one first, then this. It's apparent Bush was not original with this speech. Not cool.
Sterling simms (1 year ago)
Yeah that's the point.
Maizerus (2 years ago)
Bush's words were dignified, but Reagan's words about the Challenger topples Bush's easily.
manofsan (2 years ago)
Very moving words, spoken by someone who was clearly moved.
SCE2AUX (2 years ago)
"yet we can pray that all are safely Home."
Jon Homrich (2 years ago)
I miss having him as president
J W (1 month ago)
+MarioLuigiFun, war in Afganistan?
J W (1 month ago)
Need bodies on the ground? Call Bush.
Garbage Human (2 months ago)
Trump is better
libbruin alumnus (3 months ago)
I never thought I'd say this, but now I actually do miss having him as President.
Chris Fenton (4 months ago)
How do you feel now? Do you stiill support the treasonous leech that is Drumpf?
Joel Hammen (2 years ago)
Very well said. At the end looked a bit chocking up.
Feraligatr (2 years ago)
This is great example of how a presidential address should go. And To all those who dies on Columbia, May your flight end in success, and not in peril, as you take on heaven's skies.
ford odion (5 months ago)
Bundeswehr Amen

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