I was one of hundreds of spectators camped out in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center
on Friday morning to witness the historic homecoming of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Standing
on hallowed ground, we cheered and waved as the Endeavour flew over its engineering
birthplace on its way to Orange County and Disneyland. For those of us lucky enough to stick
around a little longer, we witnessed the Shuttle return and make a full circle around us – literally
completing what most of us saw as the metaphoric full circle it was making by returning home to
Southern California. Chants of “USA” could be heard as the crowd swelled with pride and
patriotism at the sight of the Space Shuttle atop the 747, flanked by two fighter jet escorts.
I’d like to personally thank the Space Center staff for their hard work, particularly for the more
than three hours of live narration of Endeavour’s trajectory, shuttle facts, and past missions. I’d
also like to thank Senator Boxer and her staff and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and
her staff for reaching out to NASA to make the flyover possible. I commend my City Council
colleague, Mario Guerra, for suggesting the City pursue the possibility with NASA. Most
importantly, I’d like to thank the aerospace fans, Rockwell retirees and Downey residents who
came out to welcome Endeavour home. Thank you for helping us to honor our aerospace roots
and inspire future generations of scientists and engineers.
I invite you to come out again to the Columbia Memorial Space Center to see Inspiration, the
recently-named Space Shuttle Mockup (Endeavour’s “grandparent”). Congratulations to Bea
Jensen for having their suggested name chosen for the mock-up.
Thank you again to all who made possible this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the Space
Shuttle fly over the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey.
Mayor Roger C. Brossmer
– Ed’s note: sorry about the weird formatting.