U.S. President Donald Trump Praises Kalpana Chawla, Calls Her A Hero
“Indian American Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian descent to fly in space, and became an American hero for her devotion to the Space Shuttle program," Donald Trump said.
While declaring the month of May as “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” on April 30, U.S. President Donald Trump heaped praises on Indian-origin astronaut Kalpana Chawla. Trump called Chawla an American hero for devoting her life to the space program and inspiring millions of girls to become astronauts, PTI reported .
“Indian American Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian descent to fly in space, and became an American hero for her devotion to the Space Shuttle program and its various missions transporting cargo and crew to and from the International Space Station,” Trump said, according to the report.
The U.S. Congress, which posthumously awarded Chawla Congressional Space Medal of Honor, has also designated the month of May each year as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”
Chawla, the first woman of Indian-origin to go in space, was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. The space shuttle, where Chawla was serving as mission specialist and robotics arm operator, disintegrated during its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
Noting the achievements of Chawla, who was awarded a medal of honor from the Congress as well as NASA’s Space Flight Medal and Distinguished Service Medal, Trump further said: “Chawla’s courage and passion continue to serve as an inspiration for millions of American girls who dream of one day becoming astronauts.”
With the declaration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Trump administration is set to recognize the contributions of the Indian community to the country. “Through their industriousness and love of country, our nation has enjoyed the privileges and enrichments of multiple innovations and societal advancements,” Trump was quoted as saying.
America is a country that values hard work, an honest living, and a commitment to the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Trump added.
“For these reasons, America cherishes its connections with the Indo-Pacific region, which shares an appreciation for these principles. Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage help to reinforce these relationships, which are stronger today than ever before,” he said.
More than 20 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made the United States their home. This includes those living in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.