Monday, January 30, 2006

The Challenger

It's said that every youthful generation has an incident where everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news. A single event that binds them in collective grieving and/or anger. For my grandparents' generation, it was Pearl Harbor. For my parents' generation, it was the assassination of President Kennedy. For my sister's generation, it was 9/11.

But everyone my age remembers where they were when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, twenty years ago last Saturday.

I was in 6th grade. When I first heard whisperings about the shuttle's explosion, I was in 'industrial arts' (ie: wood shop). This was around 12:30 PM. I spent the rest of the day agitating to get out of school so I could run home and see it with my own eyes.

Little did I know, I would see it with my own eyes dozens of times in the following weeks.

It was a different time back then. The main worry was the threat of nuclear war. Up until I was about 12 or 13, the most words I most feared on television, the words that made my spine stiffen instantly, were, "We interrupt this programming to bring you this special report."

We were supposed to worry about the Soviets, not about spacecrafts exploding.

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