Students at the Coast Ridge Elementary School in York, Maine were overcome with excitement as they welcomed one of York’s distinguished sons, astronaut Chris Cassidy. A photo on the feature on Seacoast Online showed children lined up along a corridor on either side of Cassidy, clapping their hands as he made his way to the school gym on October 2.
We did a number of posts on Chris Cassidy and his first sojourn into space as part of the crew of Endeavour. He participated in three space walks and became the second former Navy SEALs to travel to space.
Because of his achievements, both past and present, the students were excited and prepared for his arrival. They have been hearing stories about him and his trip to the International Space Station for a year and a half and seeing and hearing him talk in person was indeed a great experience for the kids.
As expected, many of them were inspired by Cassidy’s feats. After all, he started out as someone just like they were once upon a time; the fact that Cassidy was able to connect with the students well may have also been a great help.
He talked about coming to York for the first time as a fifth grader, concerned mainly about school, sports, and eating, with no thought of ever being an astronaut crossing his mind at that time. It was a great testament to the fact that anyone who has enough courage, focus and determination can achieve anything he sets his mind to.
His audience included 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th graders, who were regaled with stories of the International Space Station and its environs, which Cassidy likened to a Star Wars TIE fighter ship. Cassidy also shared videos of the launch, space walks and the ride home. After the presentation, Cassidy gamely obliged the inquisitive kids, who peppered him with questions.
Who knows, among those kids may arise an astronaut or a Navy SEAL, inspired by Chris Cassidy.