Lufkin Honors Astronauts Killed in Shuttle Crash

by Ramonica R. Jones

Lufkin city leaders paid an emotional tribute to the astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia crash. At a memorial service at city hall, public works director Kenneth Williams reflected on the tragedy and how East Texans came together during such a difficult time.  Those who showed up honored the astronauts with prayer, patriotic songs, and a moment of silence.

Charlotte Krenek attended the service.  Her husband was among two people killed whan a helicopter searching for shuttle debris crashed a few miles east of Broaddus.

"It was very inspirational," Krenek says.  "I'm glad I was able to come.  I kind of had mixed emotions at first.  I've tried to put a lot of closure into my life, but I wanted to come at least one more time."

To this day, pieces of shuttle debris are still being found throughout the area.