East Texans Sending Letters to Astronauts' Families

The Waters Family, Whitehouse: "They were very awesome and heroic people. They, to me, were lucky because they got to see what the rest of us will never will -- the true beauty of this wonderful planet. So peaceful."

John and Jackie Lemon, Mineola: "God has taken all seven of his children under his care, and one day you will all meet again in a far better and loving place. God bless you all."

Celeste Crotwell, Gladewater: "Our prayers are with you all. The memory of those we have lost will remain a shining definition of the word 'Hero'."

Cynthia Cooper, Palestine: "Right now, I'm at a loss for words, but my heart and spirit speaks loudly with words of deep sadness for this tragic day; a day that touched me in such a personal way, I'll never forget. A part of those seven brave men and women are forever with me."

Janet Crim, Ben Wheeler: "We never lose the ones we love -- for even though they are gone -- in the hearts of those who care, their memory lingers on."

Carrie Ruether, Henderson: "Remember, they died to give us a better tomorrow. I will never forget the day our seven space crew members became angels."

Jessica, Union Grove: "I have lost many loved ones in my 14 years of being on this Earth, and I know it is the worst thing to have to go through. God says in the Bible that he won't let anything happen that he knows we can't get through... just be excited for the day that you can go join your loved one in heaven."

Lamon Geddie, Gilmer: "I know nothing can replace your loss, but the gift you have given this nation in allowing your loved one to be one of those people that children can look up to and emulate is more than priceless. Thank you for your rich generosity of spirit."

Michael and Cyndy Adolph, Mineola: "You have shared your husbands, wives, sons, and daughters with us to seek answers to help us all. They are heroes and will be remembered every time we look to the sky."

Linda and William Cooper, Henderson: "This tragedy is not for us to understand. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Let God be your comforter."

Mary Zorn, Tyler: "Thank you for nurturing these wonderful and courageous heroes that gave their lives so that my family and generations to come would benefit. I hope that as a mother, I can raise my child to know the importance of reaching for the stars. Please come to East Texas where you will find lots of love and sympathy."

Judy Phelps, Holly Lake Ranch:

"February 1st was my birthday, you see. How beautiful it was, as I looked up in the heavens, I thought, "My, what an awesome God."  The sky so blue, the sunshine bright. What more could I want to behold. I just sat on my porch and thanked him, for I knew who was in control. Then the phone rang, and my son said 'Happy Birthday, Mom. It's your day, but have you heard about the shuttle and the seven who just went away?' My heart sank, the tears came, and I said, "Dear God, Bless them all, for I know You held their hands and hearts when from this Earth they did fall."