There are some days in your life that you will never ever forget—January 28, 1986 was one of those days as it was the day the Challenger crashed. Chris and I lived in Orlando, Florida and as was often our practice on space shuttle launch days I would watch it on the tv and then go outside to watch from the backyard. I never grew tired of seeing this amazing event and it amazed me that on clear days when they launched from Kennedy Space Center we were able to actually see it from our back yard. This day was no different—-I watched on tv and then when the countdown to launch got close I took Micah outside and held him while we watched the sky. All seemed okay in the beginning and then I immediately knew that something had happened that was a horrible and horrific thing. I ran inside, the phone rang and it was my friend Mary Ellen who was watching from her yard a couple of streets over in Navy housing and we shared our tears and sadness as we watched the events unfold in front of us on the television.
Today we remember and honor those whose lives were lost on that day—Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. I think one of the things I remember most, along with everyone else on that day, was that there was the first participant of the Teacher in Space program, Christa McAuliffe, aboard and it had sparked the interest of so many children and educators who were all watching live that day. What a sad thing to be so excited about this next step in our space program and have it end this way.
So today please forgive me if I am a little teary as they pay tribute on the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion—-it was something that I will never forget .