Re: [MV] Columbia crew footage.

From: J Travis (
Date: Fri Feb 28 2003 - 20:06:13 PST

While I respect your right to your own opinion, might I answer...

Paul A. Thomas wrote:

> > Who in their right mind would want to see the footage if it did show
> as the shuttle broke up?!?!?
> 1: it would allow NASA to have some idea what occurred.

Which is fine, but that is still no reason to make the footage public.
 For all we know, the footage MIGHT already include the final moments.
 But do the families of the astronauts REALLY need to deal with that
footage being shown over and over, with some mindless talking head
trying to "explain" what you are watching? Out of respect for the the
families, if nothing else, it should remain in a manner that is used
only for researching what happened by professionals, not the mass media.

> 2: Personally it would be ... heroic to see how they faced death, if
> in fact they knew they were about to die. The same can be said about
> soldiers: how they face death is at least as important as how they
> faced life. And Columbia's were the best of the best, to quote a
> corny phrase which probably was true.

Death is death. And death by firey exploding decompression is, well,
graphically extreme (albeit quickly over). Maybe it's just me, but I
see their heroism not in their moment of demise, but in their having the
courage to step onboard and light the fuze in the first place. Not to
take anything away from their sacrifice in the pursuit of something they
loved and believed in, but the fact is that we all eventually die, one
way or another. It is how we choose to live that makes us who we are,
for better or worse, and the honor in one's life is seen in a lifetime,
moreso than a moment. But that's just me. You've certainly got a right
to your own opinion.

> Movies do it a lot better than real life ( Bruce Willis, like him or
> not, in Armagedon, staying behind to detonate the nuke and save the
> world ?)

That was fiction. They didn't burn the flesh off Bruce Willis just to
get the "reality" of the shot. These people have families still here,
who also deserve our respect, and some of them have children and young
relatives- do they really need to watch that on TV?

> The very very few examples we get in real life mean SO much more.

On THAT, we agree.

> IMSHO, they inspire me to make such a sacrifice if and when the need
> arises.

I can respect that feeling. But why does their physical moment of
violent death HAVE to be seen in order to respect them? And if you can
agree that not witnessing them suffer in no way detracts from their
sacrifice, then why do we need to make it public, if their families
might be further harmed from it?

I realize that you are NOT promoting the idea of publically releasing
such footage as sensationalism, and I'm not trying to imply that you
have anything but the best intentions about it. But knowing as we all
do how many in the "popular media" would exploit it for the graphic
shock value, I still think it would be better left alone.

Jay Travis

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