Intelligent, versatile and exceedingly competent, America’s first female space voyager blasted through the glass ceiling in a rocket ship, encouraging women and girls to follow her through. At a time when the U.S. was grudgingly yielding to women’s demands for equality, Ride blazed a path — not because anyone gave her a break but because she was that good. She moved a generation that was ready to move.
In death she eloquently sent a new message of equality by acknowledging her longtime partner Tam O’Shaughnessy. She revealed that her commitment and dedication started at home, with her chosen family. Her quiet leadership has added to the voices that are shattering the next glass ceiling. Americans are again ready to follow Sally Ride through.
Smith is a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve
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