The Dismounting of Discovery

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It’s the end of an era in American history, and I’m sad.

The space shuttle program has come to a halt and Discovery, the oldest shuttle in the fleet, has landed for the last time in Washington D.C. where she will stand proudly on display at the Smithsonian Institute. One Fox News commentator said she was wearing her wrinkles well, and I agree. She was the third shuttle built and said to be the most reliable of them all.

I’ve been watching her final flight remembering the many times I stood with my homeschooled children in the middle of our street waiting to see the shuttle clear the trees. I never tired of it even after my children were no longer home to watch it with me.  It amazed me how on a clear day we could see the twin rocket boosters disengage from the shuttle and fall burning to the earth below. Many times we drove to the coast to see the launch live in order to feel the rumble as we watched the shuttle lift off. I often prayed for the men and women aboard, especially after witnessing the Challenger explode in the sky in 1986, or seeing Columbia break into pieces as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere in 2003.

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As a native Floridian, the space program has always been a part of my life; we felt the joys and mourned the losses. One thing is certain, there would have been no space program without the ingenuity of the men and women who made it happen. They worked hard to help make America’s Space Program the best in the world. So a big thanks goes to them today.

I don’t know what the future will look like without a space program for America. Will we lose our standing in the world as a leader in space? Most likely, we will. It feels as if we’ve lost a good friend. In fact, watching the news this morning reminded of the many presidents I’ve seen laid to rest. It was like a funeral procession took place in the sky. This is a time of transition for our country. A time to say goodbye to one way of life and embrace a new way. But the new way isn’t yet known, so it is hard.

What does this have to do with marriage? Nothing really, except maybe to inspire us to keep working hard at making our marriage the best it can be. Like those who worked faithfully year after year to make NASA great, we have no idea of the places we can go, the things we can learn, or what we can become unless we try. Let’s resolve until we take our last breath to be intentional about our relationship so when it’s all said and done, those who know us best will remember our marriage and marvel at what God did in and through us.

May we wear our wrinkles well.

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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10 Responses to The Dismounting of Discovery

  1. Thanks for the sweet tribute, Debi. Like you, my life is full of memories of the shuttle program.


  2. I remember (as a kid) recording the television audio on cassette tapes the day the shuttle FIRST went on a test flight on top of the 747. I created a little scrapbook so I could one day show my own kids. Somewhere along the way, those tapes were long ago lost. But today I live close enough to Dulles and the Smithsonian that I will be able to take my kids to see the shuttle in person, and TELL them Daddy’s story about it.


  3. Nicole says:

    I watched with tears this morning as well. I was able to take the kiddos over to the coast for the final launch, and it was spectacular (amazing how the one hour trip over there turns into 4-6 hours to get home!!!). Love feeling that rumble!!!


    • Debi Walter says:

      Yes, I remember the long lines on 521 to get back to Orlando. But it was always worth it. We would stop for breakfast to help us miss the huge piles of traffic. I wish I could have been at the Cape this morning. Thanks for sharing!


  4. daveflys says:

    Well said. From one Florida native to another, I’m going to miss the space program, too.


  5. paulineincrete says:

    I enjoyed your post and watched this via the internet here in Greece. My husband and I got to see Discovery launch back in 2007 when we were visiting Florida, it had been my husbands dream to see one and after a few failed attempts (we were on vacation a couple of times but the launch was scrubbed due to weather) we finally got to witness a great event.
    It is sad there will be no more I wish we could have been there yesterday too for her final journey.
    Thanks for sharing


    • Debi Walter says:

      So glad you were able to watch from TV at least. Yes, we will miss the space program for sure! Thanks for commenting.


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