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Victims of the Columbia shuttle disaster honoured

ON THE FIRST day of the Slovakia-USA Davis Cup match in Bratislava, September 19, Slovak representatives of the Ferdinand Martinenga Association, and the Pan-European Union, paid tribute to the victims of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.
During the break between the sessions, they presented a photograph of the astronauts, framed in a traditional Slovak tin-smith's enclosing, to the American ambassador to Slovakia, Ronald Weiser, in memory of the victims of the tragedy.


US Ambassador Ronald Weiser receives a commemorative plaque
photo: Dušan Barbuš

ON THE FIRST day of the Slovakia-USA Davis Cup match in Bratislava, September 19, Slovak representatives of the Ferdinand Martinenga Association, and the Pan-European Union, paid tribute to the victims of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.

During the break between the sessions, they presented a photograph of the astronauts, framed in a traditional Slovak tin-smith's enclosing, to the American ambassador to Slovakia, Ronald Weiser, in memory of the victims of the tragedy.

The event was moderated by leading tennis player Karin Habšudová. An octet by the Jendruch brothers and sisters sang Amazing Grace, and traditional Jewish singer Ervin Schonhauser performed Kolh Olah Gesher's The Bridge Connecting the Entire World in Israeli, as one of the Columbia's astronauts, Ilan Ramon, worked for the Israeli Air Force, and it was his first flight into space.

"The present is from ordinary people who wanted to pay respect and show their admiration to the victims," said Peter Kurhajec, former representative of the modern pentathlon, and the main initiator of the project.

Kurhajec presented this humane gift, together with Tibor Macko, chairman of the Slovak Tennis Union, Juraj Alner, secretary general of Pan-European Union in Slovakia, and the first Slovak cosmonaut, Ivan Bella.

Along with the framed photograph, the Ferdinand Martinenga Association dedicated a gold medal, designed by Drahomír Zobek. Artisan Ladislav Jurovatý Jr. created the wire frame for the photograph, and Štefan Černák, together with a group of disabled students from the Mokrohájska Institute, made a chest in which to present the gift.

Representatives of the American Tennis Association presented a wheelchair to the physically disabled tennis player Tomáš Masaryk.

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