"Save Space" Community Rally Update


"Save Space" Community Rally
Sunday, April 11 4 pm
Cocoa Expo Sports Center

Thanks to all who came out in person or tuned in online or on TV to Sunday's Save America's Human Space Exploration Rally at the Cocoa Expo Center. PMC President and CEO George Mikitarian served as the Master of Ceremony of this important community event and PMC Board Member and Chairman of the Brevard County School Board Robert Jordan was a keynote speaker. Below is a transcript of  Dr. Mikitarian's opening and closing remarks as well as Mr. Jordan's remarks.



[Opening remarks by George Mikitarian, President/CEO Parrish Medical Center]

Thank you for coming today. It is a great pleasure to welcome all of you who have been part, in whatever way, of America’s space program and human space flight, one of mankind’s most ambitious, most spectacular, and most successful scientific accomplishments.

Your extraordinary spirit and your world-changing work are forever grounded in our community and in the pages of American history.  You have made the United States the world leader in space technology and exploration. This rally is about you.  But in addition, it is about the family members of our space workers; it is about the businesses, schools and other organizations that over the years have supported our space workers as you dedicated your professional lives to forging America’s position of space leadership.  Keeping America No. 1 in space is what we desire, and it is the purpose for our gathering together today.



[Robert Jordan's Remarks] In 1962 at Rice University in Houston, Texas, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed America's commitment to landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade. The President spoke about the need to solve the mysteries of space and also defended the enormous expense of the space program. Since that time, man has not only touched the face of the moon, but inhabits a man made satellite that more than 15 nations are building in space and yes the cost has been enormous. But I want to say to you, it is a small price to pay to inspire students and teachers to embrace math, science and engineering education. What is the cost to the United States if we throw away opportunities to motivate the next generation of scientists in ways that the first space race did?

And locally… what is the cost to Brevard County? The effects of this loss will devastate and cripple this area. That is obvious. We have been battling a fiscal crisis unrivaled since the depression. Cut the space program and tax rolls will be down even more and unemployment rates will soar even higher. The consequences of this action are unimaginable and it will hit us in ways that we haven’t yet fathomed. Brevard’s coast is known to the world as the gateway to space. Visitors flock from all over to watch history unfold before their eyes. Tourism will be severely impacted. Our livelihoods are in jeopardy. 

The space program defines our identity and is embedded in our souls. We have named our schools to commemorate the dreams made possible by the combined efforts of several generations who have inspired us to explore beyond our earthly realm. Our students learn, grow and thrive in an environment fueled by our love of technology, where making the impossible – possible, becomes reality. What happens to those dreams? What happens to the next round of pioneers? Perhaps, most importantly, what legacy are we leaving? 

Do we stop progressing while the rest of the world moves ahead?  Is that what we want for our children? We have led the way and YES it has cost a lot.  And the price has been more than dollars.  Do you just turn your backs on those who have lost their lives for this cause?  I urge, I implore, and yes I plead for you, Mr. President to reconsider this path. The future begins this moment and will be determined by the choices you make and the actions you take right here, right now.

Technology is advancing exponentially. We blink our eyes and something else has been developed or discovered. I can’t imagine that we, the United States of America, want to miss out on being a part of the next big discovery.

As a member of the School Board of Brevard County I am well aware of cutting corners. We have had to rethink our way of doing business and to search for alternatives to do more with less. But not one time did we say, “We cannot provide our children an education.”  That simply is not an option. We just dig in our heels and figure out a way to make it work and sometimes it’s not pretty. I know if we try, we can figure out ways to cut cost, without sacrificing the mission. We just have to try.

Last Monday, I watched the shuttle roar into space. The sight, the feel, the rumble after all these years still takes my breath away.  As it soared toward the stars, and the rising sun illuminated the plumes of smoke, my heart sank as I thought that this glorious scene may come to an end. That is a cost that I don’t think we should be willing to pay.Mr. President “Fly the Shuttle until we have a viable alternative.

Fly the Shuttle until new technology can be developed. Fly the Shuttle so that we don’t depend on the Russians to fly our American Astronauts into space.Mr. President we the American Space Workers are the best at what we do. We are up to the challenge, Keep us flying!!!

[Conclusion of Program, George Mikitarian]
The organizing committee’s thanks go to today’s speakers, performers and presenters. A special thanks goes to you, everyone here, for coming out today. At this moment we don’t know what the future holds for America’s space program. Here are things we do know: America has made a monumental investment in our space facilities. The experience, ability, training and professionalism of the people who work in America’s space program cannot be duplicated, and must not be lost to our country and the world.

You who have worked in our nation’s space program in whatever role, are an inspiration to everyone on this platform, everyone attending this event, and you should be an inspiration to everyone in this country. Let’s let our voices be heard. With that, we are concluded, and thank you again for being here today.


[Originally Posted 4/9/2010]

"Save Space" Community Rally
Sunday, April 11 4 pm
Cocoa Expo Sports Center

The rally, organized mainly by Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher, is designed to show support for continued human space exploration after the shuttle stops flying. Confirmed speakers at the rally include U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, Florida Sen. Mike Haridopolos, Brevard County School Board member Robert Jordan, Fisher and astronauts Jon McBride, Winston Scott and Bob Springer. PMC President / CEO George Mikitarian will be the master of ceremonies. In addition to government officials and their aides, the rally organizing committee includes representatives of the local business community, unions, churches, schools and space-related organizations.

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