On February 1, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere resulting in the loss of all aboard.

We in San Augustine County offer our sincere condolences to the families of the 7 astronauts who lost their lives in this tragic

On Sunday Feb. 1, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. the County of San Augustine had an official ceremony dedicating the monument to the memory of the seven astronauts lost exactly one year previous. The ceremony was held at the Civic and Tourism Center on East Columbia St. and Hwy. 21.

Charles Sharp officiated at the event and speakers included County Judge Wayne Holt, Mayor Pat Fussell, and City Manager Duke Lyons.

Special guests the ALERT Men’s Chorus from the ALERT Academy in Tyler performed several selections. The Chorus also performed at San Augustine’s First Baptist Church during that morning’s worship service.

The monument was unveiled as Roy McLerran played Taps.

On Sunday morning Feb. 1, 2004 local church bells rang to mark the exact time of the breakup. A few minutes after the bells rang the local fire department sounded a tone calling all firemen on their radio frequency just as it did a year ago when the firemen were called to duty for the shuttle breakup.

Public Safety Notice

Much of the debris from the space shuttle fell across San Augustine County, and some remains to be recovered. This debris may be toxic and should not be touched. If you should come upon debris that you suspect may have come from the shuttle, please contact the local Police or Sheriff’s department, or call NASA’s hotline at 1-866-446-6603.