Monday, July 23, 2012

Ride Sally Ride

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, passed away today.  Although she has moved on, her memory will be forever in the hearts of those she inspired to reach for the stars.

I live in Orlando and the Kennedy Space Center isn't that far away.  Most of us have grown up watching space launches and it is always fun to see people stop what ever they are doing and look out the window to watch the space craft lift off.  I can still remember driving around town in 1983 seeing billboards saying"Ride, Sally, Ride."  We had buttons and t-shirts emblazoned with the saying and young women like myself watched with pride as Sally Ride made history.

Ride was our hero and we all had tears in our eyes as she lifted off into space.  She knew she was a role model for young girls around the country and handled the responsibility with dignity.  There were no embarrassing newspaper stories or photos and she continued to excel in her profession going into space one more time on Challenger in 1984.  When Challenger blew up during its' 1986 launch, we all turned to Ride to help heal the wounds.

After retiring from the space program she became a professor and also established the Sally Ride Science initiative to advocate a greater focus on math and science and encourage young girls to pursue these areas.

May you rest in peace, Sally, knowing that the women you inspired will reach for the stars in your honor.

Ride, Sally, Ride


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