by Heidi Hunt
45th Space Wing Public Affairs
1/28/2014 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- Three
former space pioneers were honored during the 47th annual Apollo 1
Memorial Ceremony Jan. 27 at Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force
The memorial honored crew members, Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom,
Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee, who were
killed by a flash fire during a launch pad test of their Saturn 1B
rocket, Jan. 27, 1967.
"As we honor three American heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for
this great Nation, we remember them for not how they died, but the
ideals for which they lived," said Col. Robert Pavelko, 45th Space Wing
vice commander. "We strive to emulate their leadership, integrity and
More than 100 family and friends of the spaceflight heroes were also in attendance.
Betty, Grissom's wife, was recognized for the sacrifices she made during
Gus Grissom's career. She has attended the ceremony every year since
the tragedy. Additionally, three candles were lit to pay homage to the
Scott Grissom, Gus' son, said the ceremony is important because future generations will remember this day in history.
At exactly 6:31 p.m. audience members fell silent for the conclusion of
the memorial, the exact moment the flash fire occurred, killing all
Ending the ceremony included taps, a musical piece, from a bugler of the
Naval Ordnance Test Unit and remarks from the 45th Space Wing vice
"Each launch provides a constant reminder of the efforts of those heroes
and their families who came before us," Pavelko said. "Roger Chaffee,
Gus Grissom and Ed White dedicated their lives to this nation and
furthering space exploration. Their legacy lives on."