First Black Astronaut’s 50th Death Anniversary News: The Astronauts Memorial Foundation [AMF] hosted a 50th-year memorial tribute to honor the life of Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. The ceremony took place at 10:00 AM, Friday, December 8, in the Center for Space Education, located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Major Lawrence was America’s first African American Astronaut. He tragically lost his life in an F-104 accident while training another test pilot. Br. Barbara Lawrence, Major Lawrence’s sister, was a special guest speaker.
Other notable speakers paid tribute to first black astronaut of the nation were Lt Gen James “Abe” Abrahamson, Maj Gen Charles Bolden, Col Robert Cabana and Capt. Robert Crippen. Following the memorial tribute, there was a special wreath-laying ceremony at the base of national Space Mirror Memorial.
Not only these names mentioned above, but also, hundreds of other people were present. This list mainly includes numerous relatives of Maj. Robert H. Lawrence & other astronauts who took their last breath while giving best to the nation. Besides schoolchildren, fellow Omega Psi Phi fraternity members, astronauts & NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] dignitaries.
The official twitter handle of Astronauts Memorial Foundation let the world know about this event on 4th December 2017 only.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation to host 50th Year Memorial Tribute honoring our nation’s first African-American astronaut – Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. – December 8th, 10:00am, KSC Visitor’s Complex.
— Astronauts Memorial (@amfcse) December 4, 2017
In the history of space exploration, this is also called as Black History Month. Robert H. Lawrence Jr., America’s first African American Astronaut then became as Airforce pilot at age twenty-one. At age thirty-two, he became the first African American Astronaut in the space station. He, unfortunately, lost his life when the student he was training lost control of the Aircraft. Although, Robert Lawrence Jr. never made it into space, yet yesterday he was remembered as one of the most celebrated Astronauts of all the times.
What visitors said about Maj. Robert H. Lawrence at 50th Death Anniversary At Kennedy Space Center –
- Barbara Lawrence (Maj. Robert H. Lawrence’s older sister) – “He was only interested in being given an opportunity to do what he could do, and the Air Force gave him that opportunity. He never was interested in being the first of anything. I’m only sorry that he didn’t get an opportunity to work a little bit longer, but I think his job was well done.”
- Antonio Knox (Fraternity’s National President) – “Because he was willing to risk his life to go out and make a difference for others, people are learning and having that opportunity today.”
- Charles Bolden (former NASA Administrator and four-time shuttle astronaut) – “He was the first, but not the last. He is one of the giants on whose shoulders I stand. He was undeterred by segregation and discrimination that he would find at every turn.”
- Bob Crippen (first shuttle mission pilot) – “He would have been the first black person to fly in space, and he would have been famous.”
If you ever get a chance to visit John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island, Florida, make sure to visit Space Mirror Memorial. Also known as astronaut memorial, has a story attached with Maj. Robert H. Lawrence. It took protracted bureaucratic conflict of 30 years to let officials engrave the name of Lawrence in there. On his 30th death anniversary in 1997, Air Force was able to recognize as one of the competent astronauts of all the time who combined chemistry and flying.
Apart from Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, only two African-American have been proved fortunate enough have their names engraved in Space Mirror Memorial. First is Michael Anderson who lost his life in shuttle Columbia in 2003 and the second one is Ronald McNair, who died aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1986
First Black Astronaut’s 50th Death Anniversary News: Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, America’s first black astronaut [U.S. Air Force] was honored on his 50th death Anniversary yesterday.