The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors.
On board was a crew of seven: Col. Rick Husband; Lt. Col. Michael Anderson; Cmdr. Laurel Clark; Capt. David Brown; Cmdr. William McCool; Dr. Kalpana Chawla; and Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force.
In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther 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 names 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.