So where were you 25 years ago today? It seems that every generation has their where I was moment. Over the last couple of decades you have the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the JFK assassination. For my generation it is the Challenger disaster. There is of course 9-11 but I will leave that for the generation after mine. I was a sophomore in high school when it happened and being in January we were out of school that day. So like I would when out of school, I would head to work with my parents. This particular morning I was heading to work with my mom. I remember trying to find out if I could hear anything on the radio about the launch and was wanting to hurry up and get there so I could see it on tv or something to get more information on it. I still hadn’t heard of the explosion.
When I got into work I remember the guy working for my parents asking us if we had heard and of course we hadn’t. He told me the shuttle had blown up after launch but I didn’t believe him. I mean how could I? I just doesn’t happen that way. But after listening to some radio reports I learned it was true. I don’t think we had cable in the store yet so I couldn’t really get anything from there. Listening to the radio give accounts on what happen, I was just sitting there in disbelief. I have always been a huge fan of space travel and especially the shuttles. I have always wanted to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and hopefully I will have a chance this summer to do that. I have always wanted to see a shuttle launch and with only two launches remaining, it’s not looking good. I have a book somewhere at my parents house that talks all about the shuttle and even has diagrams of the control panels and a second by second detail of the count down to launch.
The people who work for NASA have always been some of America’s best scientist and engineers. I think Apollo 13 showed us that. With the shuttle fleet being retired, I hate to think that NASA is not looking forward to the future. I hate to think that they are not giving our kids today something to look forward to when it comes to space travel. This is our unknown frontier and we need people who want to explore it. Like President Reagan said. “The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted… it belongs to the brave.” We need more brave people today to claim our future. We don’t need people just to sit back and hope someone else claims it for us. Where have our explorers gone? I seen a commercial on PBS the other night about the Panama Canal and what it took to build it. Some said it couldn’t be done but American engineers and scientist did it. We have punished our brightest children these days by forcing them into all being the same as the other kids in their class. They can’t achieve higher because kids that need more help with their work hold them back. I’m not saying they are dumb and we don’t need to help them but our brightest need more challenges in front of them. If not then they will never know how to face and overcome some of the biggest challenges in front of them.
My twins are very smart. The kindergarten they are in had to add two extra classes at the start of the year. By the time they knew they needed to add the classes, the teachers already knew how smart the twins are. In my opinion they should have went through all of the current classes and pull out the smartest and the brightest and put them in an accelerated class together and let them advance higher. But no, we can’t do that. We have to be equal. Well I’m sorry. We are just dumbing down America this way.
My oldest son is also a very smart boy. All through school his work has come easy for him. But now he has hit third grade and things are not so easy for him. He keeps telling us that he doesn’t like school because it’s so hard this year. He only likes recess and algebra which is funny that he likes algebra since it’s probably the hardest class he has. I need to show him the information on the Challenger explosion and use it to show him how we need to work hard to achieve more in life. I told him this morning that anything worth having is worth working hard for. I’m hoping that I can use this tragedy in our lives to show the true American spirit on how to overcome challenges and push on into the unknown.
Kind of fits doesn’t it? Challenges. Challenger. I guess they named that one correctly.