Thursday, January 28, 2016


With all the hype focused on tonight's sans-Trump primary debate, I figured I'd sit that topic out by acknowledging that today is the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. Below is the short post I published five years ago:

Twenty-five years ago today I was a freshman at St. Petersburg High School. Walking from PE to English class, I glanced up at the sky and saw a contrail that was split into two short branches. I didn’t think much of it, even though it was not the most ordinary of sights. But when I got to class I heard that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded; and when I watched the replays of its explosion after school, I realized that the contrail I had seen was the Challenger’s.

It is hard to believe that the 25th anniversary is upon us. Let us never forget those who lost their lives that day, and let us never forget the bereaved loved ones they left behind. Rather than conjure up platitudes about their lives, I will simply leave you with the words that were spoken on national television that night by President Reagan. I still get a tingle in my spine every time I hear them:

“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.”

To watch the speech, go here.

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