Time moves so quickly, yet some experiences remain intimately connected no matter how far in the past, and the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger was one of them for me.
Still enamored by all events space related (I always watched the space launchings and landings starting in childhood when the men landed on the moon on our old black and white TV), I couldn't wait to watch the launch that cold January morning.
I knew the astronauts by name (Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Greg Jarvis, Ellison Onizuka, and teacher Christa McAuliffe) and was so impressed with NASA because of the diversity of the crew and of course that we had a teacher on board. Christa had an infectious smile and laugh whenever she was interviewed that just pulled me in all the more.
Feelings that ran from anticipation, fear, excitement, shock, tears, and anger were all part of my day. The images that have always remained with me included the dismay on the face of Christa McAuliffe's parents as they continued to look to the skies for an answer that would never come and the students siting in the auditorium with their noisemakers who appeared to believe the disaster was a joke at first, but so accurately demonstrated the emotions we all felt that day.
Who can forget the immortal words of of President Reagan that night when he spoke of how they were now
"touching the face of God."