Epilogue: Howard K. Smith

As the last fireworks display burned into darkness, the enigmatic face of the American Statue of Liberty faded into the shadows of the starry night, obscured for a moment until the island's lighting system switched into blazing life. Leaving the Independence Day celebration, the network switched back to the commentator. Howard K. Smith stared out through the camera, reaching humans all over the world and in the Fleet above the planet.

"And the decisions of the gathering aboard the Galactica have filled the world with hope and pride. We face a long war, and the new enemy is as vicious as the old. But we stood against the Visitors, with whatever weapons we could find, against all odds. We will stand against the Cylons, and we will survive.

"Our engineers and designers are already pouring over the blueprints and specifications of the Colonial vessels. They will undoubtedly produce variations in the Galactica's original design, to accommodate both changes in Colonial technology and expertise since she was built, and to meet our own particular needs and expectations, but Earth is grateful to accept what our Colonial brethren have offered so freely. Soon, we will reach for the stars, and while the purpose must be militarily defensive, our dreams are of a better future.

"The delegates have agreed that the first battlestar to be commissioned will be the Enterprise, to remember the men of the United States aircraft carrier of that name, lost in the war, and as a tribute to the ideals espoused by an old American television program known world-wide and obviously well-remembered. Every nation in the world has expressed a willingness to contribute to her construction. Miramar base in California will soon begin pilot training classes, under the experienced hands of the Colonial fleet instructors and her finest warriors. Miramar America's Top Gun Academy is accepting applicants for those classes from every nation in the world. This will be a global struggle, and we must all be part of it.

"The Enterprise will be followed, of course, by other battlestars. We have already received confirmation from the British, the Russians, the Japanese, and the Scandinavian bloc. Enterprise, which will carry the name and number of her fictitious counterpart, will be joined by the Prince of Wales, the Yamamoto, the Oktober Revolution which has already been granted the call number 1917 and the Hammer of Thor.

"We are still waiting for word from the French, the Germans, and other nations expected either to build their own vessels, or to join with their neighbors for this world's defense.

"In other news, one of the Visitor mother ships, that commanded by Lloyd and carrying the new, half-human Leader, moved out of Earth orbit this evening, and will soon be leaving our system. We send our best wishes and hopes with Elizabeth Maxwell.

"And now for some commentary....

"It seems a dream of an eternity ago, that our planet would be so committed to one cause, would stand together. The feeling of unity and strength around this world tonight is almost palpable in the very air. We could only wish it would be for peace, but alas, that is not so. There is another struggle to be waged first.

"We go now to prepare for war. May we stand as one, and stand true and firm. From here in New York, on planet Earth, our prayers and best wishes be with you all, wherever in this world or system you may be.

"Now I must repeat, with heavy but hopeful heart, what I had hoped I would never have to say again when the end of this unasked-for confrontation seemed within our grasp.

"That's the state of the war tonight...."

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