As America’s Space Shuttle Discovery goes to rest at The Smithsonian – Tola Adenle

First, readers should please read The Washington Post’s Brian Vastag:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/space-shuttle-discovery-makes-final-flight-over-washington-dc/2012/04/18/gIQAMtqcQT_story.html

Now, go through the picture gallery at:    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/discovery-heads-to-the-dc-area/2012/04/17/gIQACUXmNT_gallery.html#photo=36

Each picture in the dozens of frames are breathtaking but Frame 36 not only takes your breath away but is so awe-inspiring and so out-of-this-world that I actually believed I heard my heart beats!

The Washington Monument, D.C.’s tallest structure by design, stars in this frame as the piggybacked Discovery seems to perch right at its top as the 747 carrying it like the star she would always remain, circled the Monument thrice in its final salute.

All the pictures are works of art: from those taken in the hangar, the first of which makes Discovery look like a beached whale to alien object-like Frame 5, to the unreal image in Frame 7 of a piggybacked shuttle on the ground of commercial Dulles Airport for a momentary Florida or California-type landing pad.

How about the joyous crowds:  school kids on the ground, adults on office roof tops and on the ground, on road sides, adults running as if to catch a rock star while she perches so daintily on the back of her carrier?  I’m not sure the metro Washington  or America – has ever seen this much excitement.  D.C.’s controlled skyline which is still being fought those who would rather have skyscrapers like other cities, perhaps, seemed tailor-made for this fly-by salute.

How about the kids in Frame 24, 28 and 81?  They will never forget Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

Parked cars on road shoulders in the Virginia countryside was not like the gridlock Washington metro was used to.  These were no road-raged crowds on the Beltway that is a major traffic artery for those who live in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of D.C.

Most of Washington’s great monuments are on The Mall:  the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, [memorial to WWII] Iwo Jima, all got flown over or near by Discovery.

And how about the ethereal spires at old Logan Circle, now a bustling expensive enclave of real estate in the heart of downtown D.C.?

While the Space Shuttle Discovery may now belong to history as it takes her place at the Smithsonian, and while space flights may be rested for good, the outpouring of excitement and grief joy and wonder and … Tuesday around Washington as some parents took kids out of school to witness a great historical event, point to America’s preeminence in science and technology AND that she will not “wait and rest” as JFK warned those long ago years that America must lead the race for space.

While I’m no techie, nor space buff, each landing of the Discovery that I took in on television in the past always left me in sheer awe and I have a feeling that America will not let go of the dream of millions of citizens of this country.

For those who haven’t had the opportunity before now of seeing these pictures, enjoy the bounteous parade by various Washington Post’s photo journalists, Jonathan Newton, Tracy A. Woodward, Matt McClain, Bill O’Leary, Robert Markowitz, Todd Lindeman, Rajiv Chandrasekaran and other wire photojournalists, I say thank you for stopping by.

TOLA ADENLE, Washington Metro, April 18, 2012.

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