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Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Surly Bonds Of Earth

January 28, 1986, I was a senior in high school. I remember where I was. Sitting in the school office where I was working as a "runner" taking phone messages and other documents to teachers. I had just come back to the office and sat down, and I could hear the radio playing, talking about the space tragedy. I immediately froze and thought "did something happen to the Challenger?" Then the announcer began talking about the Apollo 1 capsule fire that killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967. I relaxed, they were talking about something that happened before I was born. But then they started talking about the new tragedy, and the loss of the Challenger and all seven of her crew.

That night I remember hearing the same words over and over. Mission Control: “Challenger, go at throttle up.” Commander Dick Scobee: “Roger, go at throttle up.” I remember the looks on the faces of the friends and family watching the launch. No one realized for a very long time that something was dreadfully wrong. Then the realization settled like a fog and the tears began. The words of a shocked newscaster still echo: "Obviously a major malfunction."

I remember watching President Regan address the nation. I remember his comforting words.
Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

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.”
I still get tears in my eyes whenever I think of that day.


Deva 1/29/2006 12:54:00 PM  

Amen.I have never forgotten an article I read about Christa MacAuliffe's 3 year old daughter about a week before the lift-off crying and saying "Don't go Mommy you won't come back." It still gives me chills and I was just sick watching that footage when it became apparent that something had gone terribly wrong

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