| (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; |
(back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik
25 years ago today was the day the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight.
I was home sick that day. I remember sitting in the living room. We did not have hundreds of channels to watch, so I remember laying on the coach and watching as the Space Shuttle took off. It was so exciting. There was a teacher on the flight, Christa McAuliffe, and she was the first civilian to be going into outer space. I remember the talk about who else would be able to go after this. I remember thinking anyone would be able to go into space one day. Maybe there would be hotels on the moon when I got older and the shuttle would transport us there...remember I was only 13.
Then right before my eyes as we watched that incredible vehicle soaring closer to the heavens something looked different the cloud of exhaust split apart in two. I remember the commentators on the television not being sure what was happening. Then it all became clear the shuttle had exploded. And all seven of the crew members had not survived. What an eerie thought, that I had just witnessed 7 people dying. I cried a little. I remember feeling a little silly that I was sobbing for people I did not know. And yet my heart went out to their families and loved ones.
It was definitely one of those moments in my life where I have always remember. And said those names or spoke of that day with a little reverence in my voice.
"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" ~~ President Ronald Reagan