Clear Creek ISD dedicates stadium in memory of Challenger, Columbia astronauts

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

LEAGUE CITY, Texas - Rain or shine, the major dedication years in the making went on as planned for Clear Creek ISD's newest facility, the Challenger Columbia Stadium.

Astronaut Mike Fincke said, "This is a huge day, it really honors the memory of our astronauts."

Cheryl McNair, wife of late astronaut Ronald McNair, said, "They gave their lives, and it's an honor to know their community still remembers them."

The stadium is named after two of the saddest days in our country's space program.

Back in 1986, the Challenger broke apart seconds after takeoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

Columbia broke apart during re-entry, also killing seven crew members in 2003.

Fincke said, "Our crew members are lost, we miss them each and every day. But they're not forgotten, and their legacy lives on here at this sports complex."

On this day, though, it's a happy occasion to remember and honor the crews of those flights.

Their family and friends took part in the dedication.

Evelyn Husband-Thompson, wife of late Astronaut Rick Husband, said, "We've dedicated places all over the country, but it's something special when it's hometown."

Between the football games to other sporting events and even science fairs that can now take place here, the facility will forever celebrate the legacy of its namesake.

Husband-Thompson explained, "It's so amazing that people are going to walk into this and always remember the crews, means a lot to our family. It really does."

"It's about dreams coming true, and that's why this stadium is important, too. This is where we're teaching our kids all the fundamentals of how to make dreams come true," explained Fincke.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2