January 28, 1986. Remembering The Challenger Disaster
There are certain events, mileposts and milestones that you will never forget. The Challenger disaster is one of them. The space shuttle exploding against the blue sky that morning is an indelible image for anyone who was watching it happen or afterwards on TV.
I was hosting a morning show in Illinois at the time and has just gotten off the air and we had a TV set in the newsroom. I was sitting and typing something and looked over for the launch. And I don't know what to call this, just an odd moment right as the rocket took off, but I thought for a second, something's wrong. I certainly wouldn't call it a premonition, but I just felt something wasn't right. And then, of course, Challenger exploded.
America brought together by tragedy. It wasn't the first space related disaster, and in all likelihood it won't be the last. I saw something on Twitter this morning that several of Christa McAuliffe's students went into teaching. Still its so sad thinking of those lives so suddenly ended.
This may be a bit of a tangent, but one of the qualities of a president should be to be that person we look to at times of tragedy to be looked to for inspiration and comfort. John Kennedy was like that. George Bush speaking to Congress after 9/11. President Obama is great at it. This moment from President Reagan, too is amazing. (If you're in a hurry, skip ahead to about the 4:02 mark)