Monday, January 30, 2006

Where Were You...

....when the Challenger disaster occurred?

I think this was my first "Where Were You" moment. And until 9/11, this was the defining "Where Were You" moment for my age group.

I was in college, halfway through my junior year. Being a student without a television and with limited interest in or access to newspapers, I had very little grasp on current events at that time. However, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend daily Mass. My friends and I made up the choir on that weekday, and I nearly dropped my guitar when Father Pace announced that we would be praying for the astronauts who had just perished aboard the space shuttle.

After Mass we all rushed to the student center where we could see a TV. People were crowded around televisions that normally only attracted a few diehard soap-operaholics. Nobody was talking. We all just stared. We couldn't believe that such a thing could happen. The plume of smoke was shown, again and again.

On August 10, 2001, my family was fortunate enough to be present at Kennedy Space Center for the launching of Discovery (STS 105). What an amazing sight--and what a great relief when we learned that the shuttle had safely been launched into space.

May God grant eternal rest to those astronauts lost on the Challenger and on the Columbia, comfort to the families and friends who still grieve for them, and safety to all who are involved in space travel.


Jennifer said...

There are few things I remember. The Challenger is one of them. I was home sick from school watching t.v. and saw it.

I still remember hoping they would find them alive...especially the teacher.

Amy Giglio said...

We were at the babysitters, not school, since we had a snow day that day. I watched it on TV in her living room. I remember thinking it must be possible that the astronauts were still alive. I was 11.

Jill said...

i was in my soph. year at college - and i never usually watch the the space launches and i watched that one and i will never forget the image... horrific.

Kathryn Thompson said...

I don't remember where I was. I was in second grade. My brother was in kindergarten and was in the hospital for surgery. He was just coming out of his anesthetic when the launch happened. They wheeled him to a TV and said, "Wake up. You get to watch a space ship lift off." He was so excited and then it happened. He cried and cried, thinking about all the people. He's always been a really sensitive guy.

Steve said...

Yikes! If it werent for Jills rmearks, I'd feel like Methuselah in here today!

I dont know if I actually recall seeing it explode,Im sure I watched it, but something blocked it out....Oh yeah, it might be that three months later Drill Instructors were screaming at me, telling me it was my fault the shuttle had exploded because I didnt pay attention to detail when I made my bunk.. That would explain the block!

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Steve, I am feeling pretty old myself, in this crowd!

Jean Heimann said...

Hi Barb,

I fixed the problem you emailed me about.

God bless you,