Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years

To quote the President at the time, Ronald Reagan:  The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

I still see this image in my head:

Photo Credit ABC News

January 28, 1986.

I can remember that day like it was just last week.  I had hoped and dreamed about one day going into Space and my dreams died right along with the crew on the Challenger. 73 seconds was all it took.  They were gone, buried in Space.   It was the first tragedy I had ever witnessed in my young life and one I will never forget.  We lived in Italy at the time and the news was obviously in Italian.  I understood completely what had happened as I watched the launch from the floor of our living room, right in front of the TV set.  My heart was broken for the school teacher who got the chance of a lifetime and lost her life.  I still love Space, stars and all that goes along with it but that day a part of my childhood innocence was lost.  I realized fully for the first time in my life that bad things happen to good people.  

I am remembering these families today.

The crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-51-L pose for their official portrait on November 15, 1985. In the back row from left to right: Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe (the teacher), Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik. In the front row from left to right: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. 

The photo is S85-44253 from the Johnson Space Center


  1. I was only five years old that day, but I remember vividly the event. It was my mom's birthday. We were at school. The entire school stopped what they were doing and met for chapel to pray for the families of the crew. That made a big impact on me at such a young age. Such a sad day in history!

  2. Jenny was in kindergarten and at home sick that morning. We were in front of the TV watching the liftoff and then the explosion. She turned to me and asked, "what happened to them?" I was already crying silently. It's one of those moments in history you never forget. Thank you for your words today.


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