I don't remember where I was when I first heard the news of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. I know I should, but just don't. I could blame it on youth, but I know others my age still remember it well.
The blurred memories in my head tell me I was in 2nd grade, in Mrs. Christianson's class back in Idaho, when I first became aware of it. But that can't be true. The math says I was in 1st grade.
The president spoke important words that night and helped a nation heal. Certainly I would have seen that speech. Right? Later in life watching that speech as an adult those words seemed quite familiar, but still distant.
I remember Challenger more as the ongoing story that it also was, rather than just "the event." The memory comes more from the back nebulus of my mind. The "where was I" moment doesn't exist like it does for 9/11. Or Waco. Or Oklahoma City. Or Princess Die. Or Columbine.
Instead, there's another moment I remember a whole lot better. It was in September, 1988. I would have been starting 4th grade. We watched it on TV in class. Seemed like the whole world was watching.
That was the day when we picked up the pieces and went into space again on Space Shuttle Discovery.
I remember watching it take off. I remember it getting up into orbit. I remember watching it land a few days later.
Although I probably couldn't articulate this at the time, I remember learning on that date about the amazing human spirit that gets knocked down, pulls itself together and then gets going again.
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