I remember exactly where I was 30 years ago today–Mr. McKinney’s US History class at McCracken Junior High. Yes, the same class where certain classmates noticed the name brand of my jacket as “Bright and Sassy” and I never heard the end of it. But I digress…
We were watching this launch like so many of you probably were–a thrill to watch anything on TV and have the AV boys (yes, almost always boys) wheel in the TV cart.
We expected history. We expected another typical, successful NASA launch.
Not to be.
Stunned speechless (which was a big deal for a room of 8th graders), we all looked like zombies as our brains tried to process the unthinkable.
Thirty Years Ago
…I was the same age my daughter is now. So much has happened in those 30 years. Life lessons like what we come to expect doesn’t always turn out the way we planned. Nothing is infallible. Life is short. I can just imagine Robin Williams echoing the phrase, “Seize the day…make your lives extraordinary.” Only now he, too, is gone.
In the aftermath, we all grieved the loss of lives and learned about a failed O-ring and mistakes made. The fact that so many of us watched it take place live makes the image above unforgettable. This is about as close to a 9-11 event as my youth had. Sadly, that is not the case for our children.
So I honor those that lost their lives that day, their families, and all of those touched by the ripple effect of this terrible tragedy. What I should remember instead of the first image is this crew of dreamchasers who inspired a nation and who will always be remembered:
Where were you when it happened? Were you watching?