In tribute to the Columbia shuttle mission that came to a tragic end over the skies of Texas, sixteen minutes before touchdown. Until that moment, Mission Control had been calling it "The Perfect Mission," as nothing had gone wrong.The families stood near the runway -A special Sabbath prayer for Col. Ilan Ramon of the Israeli Defense Force - the more I see his picture the more I am convinced he is one of the many Israelis I met and worked with when I was in that country. But I will probably never know.
Banners of welcome and flowers everywhere.
Only sixteen minutes to go...
Then the tragic news
That the shuttle would not be landing.
Broken dreams and broken hopes...
Tears at the funerals that are yet to come.
If they could only see with finer eyes and know
That their Loved Ones now stand
At the end of Life's Flight
With banners of welcome
And with whatever passes as flowers
In that Eternal Place, waiting to greet
Those who had been waiting for them.
Now the families left behind
Must finish their missions,
Knowing that those who are now gone
Are still there,
Waiting and hoping
At the end of the runway,
Praying that their children may complete
The Perfect Mission.
What a reunion that will be!Bruce T. Forbes is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force as a Communications Specialist and currently works for Qwest Communications. He is an award-winning author of poetry, lyrics, and children's short stories, has been a Christian children's Sunday School teacher for 18 years and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. firstname.lastname@example.org