Willie McCool Memorial
Dedicated on Saturday, May 7, 2005 Huneke Park at 82nd Street and Quaker Avenue Artist Eddie Dixon
Commander William Cameron McCool
Mankind looks to the heavens with a send of wonder, a thirst for knowledge and a dream to achieve the impossible. From the days of the first pioneer pilots, adventurous men and women have risked everything for the chance to touch the sky, to see the Earth from above and advance the cause of humanity.
From an early age, William "Willie" McCool set his sights on the future. After Graduating from Coronado High School in Lubbock, TX, Willie's lifelong interest in science led him to a career as a test pilot for the U.S. Navy. Cmdr. McCool became an astronaut candidate and reported to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 1996. He was assigned the role of pilot for STS-107, a mission that featured more than 80 experiments. McCool and his six crewmates perished when Space Shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry over the Texas Panhandle on February 1, 2003.
This memorial was created as a lasting tribute to McCool: his life, his vision and his contributions to our understanding of our place in the universe. The young boy represents both McCool's early interest in science and the sense of adventure and curiosity inherent in children everywhere who dream of achieving the impossible.
May this memorial pay tribute to a fallen hero, inspire the dreams of future generations and remind us all to keep our eyes forever fixed upon the heavens.
"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an Earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one... in peace."
~ Commander William "Willie" McCool, January 29, 2003