Tag Archives: memorial

Congress has now officially renamed the Dryden Flight Research Center in California after Neil Armstrong.

Congress has now officially renamed the Dryden Flight Research Center in California after Neil Armstrong.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Jan. 8) passed a bill that redesignates the space agency’s Dryden Flight Research Center in southern California the “NASA Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.” The legislation continues to honor the facility’s displaced namesake by renaming the surrounding area the “Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.” The U.S. House of Representatives earlier introduced and passed a corresponding resolution in February 2013. This was at least the third time since 2007 that Congress has sought to name the flight research center for Armstrong.

On Thursday, the bill was presented to the President to be signed into law.

It still seems unseemly to me to remove the honor from Dryden. I would rather give Armstrong a better memorial, on the Moon.

Why we must remember

I wrote these following words three years ago on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. I think they are worth repeating again, especially considering the confusing debacle of this administration’s Syria policy these past few weeks, and the continuing violent and oppressive behavior of the Islamic revolutionaries in that country.

My words on September 11, 2010:

The President has asked us to consider today “a national day of service and remembrance”. Though the sentiment seems reasonable, I must respectively disagree.

September 11 should not be turned into a day to celebrate volunteerism or service or American charity. Though these values are profound, important, and an expression of much of what makes our nation great, they are not why we remember September 11.

We remember the evil acts committed on September 11, 2001 in order to remind us that there is evil in the world.

We remember these evil acts so that we will have the strength to fight that evil, with every fiber of our being.

We remember those who died in order to prevent future attacks and further deaths.

We remember so that no one can ever try to make believe these events did not happen.

We remember so that no one can spread the lie that the perpetrators were something other than what they were: Men who had decided to kill in the name of Islam, based on what they believed their religion taught them.

And finally, and most important, we remember the horrible events of September 11, 2001 so that those innocent murdered souls — whose only crime that day was going to work — will not have died in vain.

The House passed legislation Monday proposing to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center in California after Neil Armstrong.

Don’t they have better things to do? The House passed legislation Monday proposing to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center in California after Neil Armstrong.

As much as I think Armstrong should be honored in as many ways as possible, it seems cheap and inappropriate to take the honor away from Hugh Dryden, whose work helped make Armstrong’s lunar mission possible. Moreover, Armstrong, being a very modest man himself, would likely be quite appalled by any action that would rob someone else of a memorial in order to give it to him.

September 11 memorial says nothing about what happened on September 11

A September 11 memorial in New Jersey says nothing about what happened on September 11.

The stone reads, “Dedicated September 11, 2011/10 year anniversary,” followed by the names of the current township mayor, committee members and administrator. The marker does not mention the terrorists’ nearly 3,000 victims, the attacks that cost their lives or the origins of the steel. “I mean, how freaking narcissistic can you be?” [retired Police Officer Dennis] Ryan said Tuesday.

A day to express the value of justice

Updated and bumped: I wrote the following last year on September 11. Sadly, nothing has changed since then. President Obama is still trying to sell the idea that this day should be used as a day of service, something that misses the point so completely as to almost be despicable.

So, I think it is worth repeating what I wrote on September 11, 2010:

The President has asked us to consider today “a national day of service and remembrance”. Though the sentiment seems reasonable, I must respectively disagree.

September 11 should not be turned into a day to celebrate volunteerism or service or American charity. Though these values are profound, important, and an expression of much of what makes our nation great, they are not why we remember September 11.

We remember the evil acts commited on September 11, 2001 in order to remind us that there is evil in the world.

We remember these evil acts so that we will have the strength to fight that evil, with every fiber of our being.

We remember those who died in order to prevent future attacks and further deaths.

We remember so that no one can ever try to make believe these events did not happen.

We remember so that no one can spread the lie that the perpetrators were something other than what they were: Men who had decided to kill in the name of Islam, based on what they believed their religion taught them.

And finally, and most important, we remember the horrible events of September 11, 2001 so that those innocent murdered souls — whose only crime that day was going to work — will not have died in vain.

No restrooms at 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Our government in action: No restrooms were included in the soon-to-open 9/11 memorial at ground zero.

The nonprofit foundation running the $508 million project is expecting millions of visitors from across the globe to flock to lower Manhattan when it opens this year on the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. But there won’t be a single toilet available on the eight-acre green plaza — a planning oversight now raising concerns in closed-door meetings.

Challenger accident, 25 years ago

An evening pause: Twenty-five years ago today.

The final words in Reagan’s speech come from a poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ing there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew;
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Challenger, 25 years later

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger accident. There are innumerable links from many sources talking about the event, too many for me to list here. You can find most at this link on Jeff Foust’s website, spacetoday.net.

Though I think it is very important for us to remember and honor these events, I have become somewhat disenchanted with the modern American obsession with memorials and anniversaries. Rather than build a memorial, I’d much rather we focused entirely on building new spaceships, new space stations, and new lunar bases, while flying multi-year missions on ISS, all in preparation for exploring and colonizing the solar system.

If we actually made the solar system a place for humans to live in and explore, we would build a far better memorial to those who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of exploration. And I think these heroes would be far more pleased by that memorial than by a stone statue or emotional op-ed that describes their courage.