Bush addresses nation about Columbia

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    By Tiffany Smith

    President Bush offered scriptures from Isaiah as words of comfort to the nation a few hours after the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated over Texas.

    “You are not alone,” Bush told the families of the seven astronauts who perished minutes before a scheduled landing in Florida. “Our entire nation grieves with you.”

    In a brief message delivered at 1:30 EST from the White House, Bush said space flight should never be considered easy or routine, but the space program would certainly continue. “These astronauts knew the dangers, and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life,” he said.

    Bush assured the nation that comfort for the tragedy is offered by God, quoting Isaiah 40:26.

    “The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today,” Bush said. “The crew of the Columbia did not return safely to earth. Yet we can pray that all are safely home.”

    Bush said the space program will continue despite the tragedy.

    “The cause for which they died will continue,” Bush said. “Our journey into space will go on.”

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