Today marks the 20th aniversary of a disaster which for many of us who remember it, was a moment in which we can remember exactly what we were doing and where we were at, and how we felt.
I was in the Army on that day. I was passing the Day Room (I was wondering why my soldiers were late coming back from lunch), and there they were watching the developing news on TV. I remember standing there, big bad Army dude, with tears streaming down my face. I remember that even today, as do many others.
From this AP story:
"Twenty years ago, space shuttle Challenger blew apart into jets of fire and plumes of smoke, a terrifying sight witnessed by the families of the seven astronauts and by those who came to watch the historic launch of the first teacher in space.
The disaster shattered NASA's spit-shined image and the belief that spaceflight could become as routine as airplane travel. The investigation into the accident's cause revealed a space agency more concerned with schedules and public relations than safety and sound decision-making.
Seventeen years later, seven more astronauts were lost on the shuttle Columbia, leading many to conclude NASA had not learned the lessons of Challenger.
But after last summer's successful return to flight under the highest level of engineering scrutiny ever, many space watchers are more hopeful.
"Don't we all learn as we go?" said Grace Corrigan, who lost her daughter, teacher Christa McAuliffe, in the Challenger accident. "Everybody learns from their mistakes."
Joining McAuliffe on the doomed Jan. 28, 1986 Challenger flight were commander Dick Scobee, pilot Mike Smith and astronauts Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik, Ron McNair and Greg Jarvis.
"It was one of those defining moments in your life that you will always remember," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who had flown on the shuttle mission preceding Challenger. "Because in 1986, the space shuttle was the symbol of technological prowess of the United States and all the sudden it's destroyed in front of everybody's eyes."
NASA has a memorial to the Challenger as well as Columbia crews that gave their lives so that man could reach the greatest hights of achievement.
This I remember reading this in a Chrisian Book about God's Love, referencing Christa McAuliffe a few years after the accident:
"Christa McAuliffe, a victim of the space shuttle disaster, was a Christian. That meant that her soul had its own three-stage rocket. Dare now to imagine what Christa felt when the space shuttle’s rockets exploded and she suddenly found herself, now out of her body, propelled faster and farther than any man made rocket could ever go beyond the earth, beyond the universe itself, into the lap of God! It was not any solid or liquid fuel that brought her that far. It was the fuel of God's Love."
Let's remember them - always.
"They traveled through the sky towards God and left the vivid air singed with their honor"
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