11, one of our revered Purdue “All-American” Marching Band traditions – “I
Am An American” – was recited all across the United States and by alums on
other continents. Now we can proudly boast that it’s gone into outer space.
On April 16, astronaut Jerry Ross’ wake-up call on the Space Shuttle Atlantis was the “All-American” Band playing “America the Beautiful” while Roy Johnson recited “I Am An American.” It’s particularly significant since Ross, who’s made more space walks than any other astronaut, was preparing for his ninth space walk that day.
Ross’ family asked NASA to use “I Am An American” off a marching band CD to surprise the Purdue graduate. Each day, NASA officials play music that is in some way significant for one of the crew members.
It was a surprise Ross loved. As you’ll hear if you explore the link attached to this story, Ross offered hearty thanks from outer space. “Thank you for the great music. I really appreciate it. It’s one of the tremendous traditions of Purdue University, the origin of many of our country’s astronauts,” he said.
“It really is a nice way to wake up and get ready for No. 9!”
To read more on the NASA webite, follow this link: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/audio/shuttle/sts-110/html/ndxpage1.html