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  My country is in mourning
Updated 02 February 2003, 11.31
People gather to mourn the deaths of the Columbia astronauts
Alyssa talks about how the US feels after the terrible space shuttle Columbia disaster which killed seven astronauts.

"Once again my country is in mourning.

The shuttle broke apart on re-entry to Earth
The shuttle broke apart on re-entry to Earth

This time tragedy has hit close to my home. I live in San Antonio which is south of Dallas where the shuttle blew up, and west of Houston.

It was amazing experience seeing the dust cloud slowly moving through our atmosphere.

Texas is known for its large blue skies but today the horizon was darkened, as though grimly showing respect to those seven who lost their lives.


I am beginning to lose count of all the major historical events that have happened in my lifetime.

I know somewhere down the line we will witness worse things happen and we will forget temporarily about the Columbia.

The brave Columbia crew
The brave Columbia crew

After all, how many times a day have you thought about the Challenger disaster? The United States is no stranger to grief, but I am thankful for everyone's prayers and condolences.

Israel and India have my sympathies too.

The seven astronauts did not die tragically, their lives were not wasted.

What they did was for the benefit of all of us. God bless them."

Alyssa, 15, San Antonio, USA

Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

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Space shuttle breaks up on re-entry
Columbia shuttle disaster


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