Shuttle Memorial

by Christa Lollis

"I heard a dull thud and ruffle and the windows in the house began to shake. There was something a little different about this sound that I had never heard before and something I really couldn't describe," Greg Sowell, a Texas mason told the group. A sound that Sowell heard on February 1 of 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia exploded and debris went across East Texas.

Today, at the place where one of the most famous pieces of the shuttle was found the mason's dedicated memorials to the astronauts and their experience. "You folks of East Texas were in the forefront of Columbia crashing in this area. All of the recovery that was done in this area and Texas masons though it was significant that we dedicate something in East Texas where the crash actually happened," Bob Glasgow, another mason said. One of the plaques will stay in Nacogdoches, the others will go to Carthage, Hemphill and San Augustine where large amounts of debris from the shuttle were found.

The masons said it was there way of making sure nobody forgets. Another mason, Don Sargent said, "We're going to work on keeping that memory alive because we feel a tremendously close relationship to the space program." That's what Sowell says makes him proud to be an American and a Texan because we always remember and never give up. "We routinely try the limits of our own mortality and most of the time succeed but when we fail we find out the reasons for that failure and then we go right back and do it all again," Sowell said. Since the crash NASA has had several successful trips back into space.