"Today, we promise Dick Scobee and his crew that their dream lives on; that the future they worked so hard to build will become reality. . . . Man will continue his conquest of space. To reach out for new goals and ever greater achievements--that is the way we shall commemorate our seven Challenger heroes."
He recalled each of the dead astronauts in turn--the medals Scobee and Smith won flying in Vietnam; Resnik's love of music and skill at the piano; Onizuka's childhood, an Eagle Scout in Hawaii dreaming of being an astronaut; McNair's dream of living--and playing his saxophone--in an orbiting space station. He recalled that Jarvis carried the flag of his alma mater, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and of McAuliffe's courage and "her restless spirit of discovery."
"We bid you goodby, but we will never forget you. We know in our hearts that you who flew so high and so proud now make your home beyond the stars, safe in God's promise of eternal life."
Reagan's nine-minute eulogy came after remarks by William Graham, acting chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and prayers led by the Rev. Bernard Hawley, father of astronaut Steven Hawley and father-in-law of astronaut Sally Ride, and by astronaut Charles Bolden.