DELTONA -- The loss of the Space Shuttle from the place it took flight this Tuesday morning is a sad day indeed for all of us in Volusia County, the Sunshine State and across America. It is more then an end of an era.
Space Shuttle Discovery is shown in this NASA video over the nation's capital.
DELTONA -- We defined ourselves by the mechanical birds that took flight from our shores at Cape Canaveral. Manned space flight is over and to see the Shuttle Discovery head out of town is very sad.
I have followed the space program since the very beginning. I took pride in our corner of the country's role in exploring the stars, from John Glenn orbiting the Earth to Neal Armstrong stepping foot on the moon from Apollo 11 and stating: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."
As Floridians and Americans, we celebrated all of the successful flights of the Space Shuttle Program and cried when the Challenger exploded over our heads. We held our breath every time another shuttle took off after that awful day. Then we cried again, knowing immediately something went terribly wrong when Columbia never cleared the clouds.
And now it's the end of an era, with Discovery aboard an airliner flying to Washington and the Smithsonian. It was a sad day indeed.