The Columbia Tragedy
By David Holcberg (U.K. Express, Feb. 12, 2003; Australia's Herald Sun, Feb. 12, 2003; La Opinion, Feb. 13, 2003; Newsweek, March 17, 2003)
The Columbia tragedy had a strong impact on people--not only in America but all over the world. Why?
Because Columbia and its crew symbolized the height of man's ambition, pride, achievement. They symbolized the power of man's intellect and science's mastery over nature. Columbia and its crew symbolized man as a hero.
In their perseverance, dedication, and life-long commitment, Columbia's astronauts showed us again that human achievement is possible if one works long and hard enough. They also showed us what it means to be an egoist, not in the pejorative way people mean it, but in the truest sense of the word: they spent their lives pursuing their own values--and they died achieving them.
People sensed, even if they did not know it explicitly, that Columbia and its astronauts stood for all of that, and they couldn't help but mourn such a huge loss.