January 12, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Marble statuary and granite monuments, imposing as they may be, can never speak with the eloquence reserved only for a living memorial. The Challenger Center is a living tribute to the brave and courageous crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger who made the supreme sacrifice 3 years ago. The mission and work of this crew will continue with their same sense of dedication and vision at the Challenger Center.

The Center has already made significant strides in establishing a Washington headquarters as well as regional mission sites and affiliated museums across our country. At these facilities children and their teachers will carry on the mission of the Challenger crew to push out ever further the frontiers of our knowledge and to expand the very realm of mankind's dreams and aspirations. It is fitting to recall the words of the poet Mary Lee Hill as she exhorts us to turn again to life:

If I should die and leave you here a while,

Be not like others, sore undone, who keep

Long vigil by the silent dust and weep.

For my sake turn again to life and smile;

Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine,

And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

To recognize the importance of the Challenger Center and its charter to expand educational opportunities in science and to thereby carry on the mission of the Challenger astronauts and the space program, the Congress, by Public Law 100 - 684, has designated January 28, 1989, as ``National Challenger Center Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim January 28, 1989, as National Challenger Center Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day by remembering the Challenger astronauts who died while serving their country and by reflecting upon the important role the Challenger Center will play in honoring their accomplishments and in furthering their goal of strengthening space and science education.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:18 a.m., January 13, 1989]