One last word on the subject.
James Taranto pointed out yesterday that, contrary to what was written in the New York Times, America isn't “unsettled” by the Columbia tragedy. America was in shock in 1986 when the Challenger tragedy occurred, he says. This time is different. This time the feeling is depressingly familiar.
Here in Israel, we're quite used to bad things happening. No one is shocked by a terrorist attack anymore. Depressed, yes, but not shocked. But this is a new one for us. Even though there were a few educated voices that aired the opinion that the whole thing was a waste of time and money, and that Israel had a "real" space project in the development of satellites and missiles, there was something clean and good and naive about Ilan Ramon and his journey into space. It wasn't tarnished with any harsh realities. There was no ugly side to it, as far as we could tell. For a nation in love with travel, he was the ultimate traveler, boldly going where no Israeli had gone before.