Author Topic: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger  (Read 13256 times)

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Offline DaytonBorn

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20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« on: January 27, 2006, 11:31:53 AM »
Remembering Challenger

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God."
-- President Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster


I grew up in Florida 20 miles south of Kennedy Space Center.  I was watching the launch at school at the playground with my class.  I remember us all clapping after the initial launch and then hearing a 'boom' and seeing a cloud of smoke rise in the air.  I remember the class clown who said 'Oh, cool!' because none of us kids knew what had happened.  The teachers quickly guided us back into the classroom and turned on the radio to hear the sad news.  I remember girls and some teachers crying.  I remember that cloud of smoke stayed in the air the rest of the day, like a scar that reminded us of a painful loss. 

That was 20 years ago.  Where were you?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2006, 11:47:16 AM by DaytonBorn »

Offline RiverViewer

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2006, 11:45:20 AM »
Home sick...probably 8th grade, but I was napping in my bedroom, and mom woke me up to come watch the news...

Offline unusualfire

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2006, 11:45:30 AM »
I was in a highschool class room and they annouced it over the PA. My teacher was PISSED.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2006, 11:45:56 AM by unusualfire »

Offline RiverViewer

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2006, 11:46:08 AM »
Pissed?  Like, drunk, or angry?  Why?

Offline unusualfire

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2006, 11:55:03 AM »
He looked like he was going to strangle someone...He was a science teacher.

Offline xumelanie

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2006, 11:59:01 AM »
I was in the 4th grade. 

Offline PigBoy

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006, 11:59:37 AM »
I was about 3 years old, so I've got nothing.

Presumably I was sitting around at home, doing whatever it is that 3-year-olds do.

Offline ColDayMan

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 12:07:41 PM »
I was watching Fraggle Rock.
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Offline X

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 03:06:30 PM »
I was in 4th grade.  I think we were actually watching the take-off when it happened, although I could be inventing that memory.

Offline KJP

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 03:51:28 PM »
Listen to all you youngins! You're making me feel old.

I was 19 years old, at my condo in Kent, getting something to eat (and probably fighting a hangover) before walking to my literature class. Then as now, I often watch TV while I eat, so I turned on the TV and sat down. The first thing I saw was a senator from Utah being interviewed about the space shuttle and he was very upset. This was probably a half hour or so after the explosion. Then they began running the "takeoff footage" that I saw about 50 more times throughout the rest of that day. The first time I saw it, needless to say, my breakfast or whatever it was I was eating that morn' didn't go down very well.

I had to leave for class on campus. It was a bright, sunny day but very cold. All the way to class, everyone else walking along the sidewalks and paths was very quiet. When you did hear someone laugh or talk loud, my thought was "How dare they?" In literature class, all we talked about that day was Challenger. I could see how things were going to go in my two other classes, so I hoofed it back to my condo, cracked open some more beers, turned the TV back on, and watched some more.

A very tough day, and I shed my share of tears, in between phone calls to friends and family to talk about the whole situation. It was one of those days you never forget, where the world around you stops, similar to the way 9-11 was, though not as intense as that. While 9-11 made you sad and mad, the day Challenger exploded was just pure sadness.
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Offline Magyar

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 08:10:48 PM »
Myself and my brothers were home from school that day (don't remember if it was due to weather or school holiday.  I wasn't sick, and we weren't playing hooky).  We were goofing around in the morning and I happened to turn the TV on at noon to hear the news.

(and I was 11 years old at the time)

Offline SarahBeth

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 08:41:48 PM »
I was about 4, and I clearly remember seeing the coverage on the TV in my mom's bedroom.  Mom was horrified, wondering why they kept showing the footage of the explosion over and over.
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Offline dfly

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2006, 11:56:51 PM »
I was at kindergarten or had just gotten out of kindergarten for the day when it actually happened, but I just remember that afternoon while I was at the babysitter they kept showing it over and over again (although I'm not sure if I remember that because of the actual event or because my cartoons weren't on).  I also remember that the older kids were much more interested in what was going on.  Then I remember that when my mom picked me up from the babysitter, her and the babysitter somberly discussed the day's events in disbelief.  When I heard my mom talking about it, I think that was the point when I realized it was a big deal (or at least as much as a 5 year old could)
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Offline tcj1985

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2006, 01:34:32 AM »
My mom always tells me the story of this tragic event.  I was a baby at the time and she was holding me in her arms as she was watching the launch.  After the spacecraft had taken off, she took me upstairs and laid me down for my nap.  Then she came back downstairs and had found that the tradgedy occurred in that short amount of time.  That'll always be one of the stories I remember from her.

God bless them all.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 01:35:17 AM by tcjoe1985 »

Offline J. Dub

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2006, 06:56:30 AM »
I was 5, I believe my dad had stayed home from work that day and I remember we were watching it on the news.  I'll never forget watching it live and I just kept asking what happened.  That was the first news story I was really intrigued by; I remember afterwards flipping through magazines (even though I could barely read) just to view more coverage on it.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: 20 Years: Remembering Challenger
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2006, 11:11:11 AM »
what a terrible memory. i saw it live. i walked into the psych building at bgsu and stopped in the giant lecture hall where they had it on down below on one of those big tv's on a cart. it was cnn i think, the one with no commentary only the live feed. i had perfect timing and watched the countdown and blast-off with about three other people standing at the top of the lecture hall. someone said, "oh no that does not look good" and we said "no." after a few minutes we just walked away in shock. i couldn't believe i had just watched those people die in front of me, i was stunned. just terrible.

a happier memory is that later on in the federal hearings about the tragedy one of my heros, physicist richard feyman, put one of those o-rings in a glass of ice water at his table and then dramatically pulled it out and smashed it to smithereens in front of everyone thus proving what effect cold weather had done. science triumphed again.
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