The following appeared in the 03-06 Digest of The Federalist:
By now you know that five of the seven astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia were U.S. military officers. The mission commander was Air Force Col. Rick D. Husband. Navy Cmdr. William C. McCool was the pilot of the Columbia. Also on board were Air Force Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, Navy Capt. (Dr.) David M. Brown and Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Laurel B. Clark. The death of all seven crew members was tragic, though given the indelible images of planeloads of civilians being flown into WTC1, WTC2 and the Pentagon, the shock of those horrible images of STS-107 falling from the sky was, somehow, benumbing.
One month ago, seven Marines were killed when their KC-130 fell from the sky in western Pakistan. Their names were not published by any media outlet. No network operating on a 24-hour news cycle had dramatic graphics and music to accompany endless special reports. No flags were flown at half mast, and many are scrambling to set up trust funds for their spouses and college funds for their children. Just two days before the STS-107 breakup, an Army UH-60 broke up in flight 12 clicks east of Bagram, Afghanistan, killing four servicemen aboard. Their names were never in print.
Our point, of course, is not to take away from the honor due and afforded the Columbia crew, but that same honor is no less due every one of our countrymen whose life is given in defense of our liberty. We grieve the loss of each and every one of these courageous Patriots, and our prayers go with their families.
I heartily second this assessment. Remember, respect, and honor our servicemen and women. Freedom is not free.