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Friday, January 28, 2011

25th Year

It seems like only yesterday that I watched, on edge of seat, as the Challenger took off in two separate directions on the television screen. I was so frustrated because no one told me which part I was supposed to look at....and then, I remember hearing the broadcaster talk about how something was wrong, and that wasn't how it was supposed to happen, and then the days and weeks that followed that brought new pieces of information here and there. I had a book. In that book, I kept all the newspaper clippings. I kept photos. I kept all of the things that had to do with that spaceship that I could find. I remember how badly I felt for the families of that crew, for the students of the teacher that was on board. I remember how I thought about how those that had tried to be the teacher on board must have thought their poor luck at not being picked changed to the best luck ever that they were not aboard that ship. I remember the sorrow I felt that each of the people on board had a dream, and it was their dream to travel into space, and that such a good thing for them, something they worked so hard for, was ultimately what ended their lives. It's funny that it was 25 years ago, yet to me, it seems like yesterday. It's funny to me that I can't remember things I should, like what I need at the grocery store, or what day the electric bill it due, or if the check I just wrote for the trash pick-up was for this month, or if I forgot to pay it last month, but I always, without fail, remember that January 28th was the day that the Challenger was no more. I *think* that that is the first real thing in history that I remember...that I can remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and even at that age, I knew that it was a significant piece of history. Next to that, I remember when the Berlin wall came down, and, of course, 9-11. I'm sure there were other things in between....but off the top of my head, that's it. I know the profound effect it had on my life, the way I thought...think....and it gives me a renewed empathy for the families and close friends to those who were on board. I wish I could thank that crew and their families, personally, for the sacrifice they made, for they are, indeed, true heroes.

What is your first memory of something that you knew was history happening right before your eyes?

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