Sunday, January 28, 2007

Space Shuttles Remembered

On January 28, 1986, I was a middle school student at home for a teacher work day. I remember my older brother answering the phone and then telling me that my mother had just called to let us know that the Space Shuttle Challenger has exploded just 73 seconds after lift-off. The space shuttle program was still pretty new, and if we had been in school, every television would have been tuned in so we could see the take off. What made this mission different than previous missions was that Krista McAuliffe, a teacher, was one of the seven astronauts killed. A second tragedy occurred the same week thirteen years later when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded returning to earth on February 1, 2003, killing the seven astronauts aboard.

In 1986, President Regan said of the tragedy, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.’” In 2003, President Bush said, “Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.” As we remember the fourteen men and women who died during these two adventures, may we hope that we are strong enough to embark on our own journeys.


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