I didnâ€™t realize until Friday that yesterday was going to be the 20th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I remember exactly where I was that day.
My mom and I had just moved back from Florida, and my dad was still there trying to sell our house. I had just started the second half of my sixth grade year at my grandmotherâ€™s school, and I had my hands full just trying to fit in and form new friendships. I had come out of the bathroom when I saw the school administrator rushing by. She glanced over and hurriedly shouted, â€œBrian, go to the cafeteria!â€.
I had no idea why she was saying this, but I suspected something was wrong. When I got there and saw what was on the television, I knew I was right. I sat there for awhile watching the news reports while other classes were being escorted in to witness the tragedy repeated ad nauseum.
I remember thinking that the explosion didnâ€™t look that bad on television, and I wondered if the people on the ground new what was happening. My stomach sank as I thought about the crew and if they were alive after the initial explosion. Reading about the events twenty years later still gives me that same feeling.
Iâ€™ll always remember Ronald Reaganâ€™s speech later that evening, specifically the last memorable paragraph.
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 good-bye and â€œslipped the surly bonds of earthâ€ to â€œtouch the face of God.â€