Message from President Ronald
Reagan on the Inaugural Flight of the Space Shuttle
"Commander John W. Young and Captain Robert L. Crippen, you go forward
this morning in a daring enterprise, and you take the hopes and prayers
of all Americans with you. You go in the hand of God and draw on the courage
Our countryman and poet William Cullen Bryant said America is where
mankind throws off its last fetters. With your exploits, we loosen one
more. Who, he said, shall place a limit to the giant's strength, or curb
his swiftness in the forward race?
Through you, today, we all feel as giants once again. Once again
we feel the surge of pride that comes from knowing we are the first and
we are the best and we are so because we are free.
For all Americans, Nancy and I thank you and the 50,000 others who
have worked to make this day possible. As you hurtle from Earth in a craft
unlike any other ever constructed, you will do so in a feat of American
technology and American will.
May God bless you, and may God bring you safely home to us, again."