Valdosta - Lowndes County residents gathered Thursday at First United Methodist Church to honor seven fallen heroes.
"We wanted a way for our community to grieve, yet celebrate the lives of the astronauts and find solace," said Pastor Charles Adams.
Through song, scripture, and prayer, people of all races and religions represented the diverse cultures of the astronauts. The memorial service had special meaning for many here today. While Rick Husband was stationed at Moody Air Force Base back in the early 80's, he was a vital part of this church's congregation.
"Rick and Evelyn led our youth program for a year, sang in the choir, played handbells, and were very active members," said Adams.
Husband's fellow church members paid tribute to their old friend by sharing fond memories. "Rick loved South Georgia, he loved our trees and said the people here reminded him of those at home in Texas," said Lynn Tessin, Husband's friend.
After the service, guests signed a book in memory of the astronauts that will be sent to Evelyn Husband next week.