January 28, 2016
Thirty years ago today seven people died aboard the space shuttle Challenger when it broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff. I was 19 years old in 1986 and was stationed in West Germany in the United States Army. It was a traumatic event for the world and I am still heartbroken.
Christa McAuliffe never got to teach her lessons from space, but she certainly inspired many of us when she said, “I touch the future. I teach.”
When I was in the third grade a NASA spokesperson visited my school, which sparked a lifelong interest in the space program. Many people told me in the days that followed the Challenger tragedy that they thought of me. I haven often thought of the seven astronauts who died and wondered why, and of their children who lost a parent, and of the many children who were watching the launch live in their classrooms. We’re all older, but the sadness remains.
This year, along with remembering the seven members of the crew and their infectious smiles, I am making a donation in their memory to Children’s Health Fund.
Godspeed, Christa, Greg, Judy, Dick, Ron, Mike, and El.