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This is the 24th anniversary of the Challenger disaster
examiner.com ^ | January 28 | Jennifer Ellis May

Posted on 01/28/2010 12:50:25 PM PST by free1977free

Where were you on January 28th, 1986? Were you in a classroom watching the first teacher go into space? Do you remember how you felt when you saw the Challenger explode soon after it left the earth?

CNN reports that about 17% of Americans were watching when the disaster occurred. One hour later, 85% had heard the news. It is estimated that 48% of 9-13 year-olds were watching.

Teacher Christa Macauliffe was supposed to be the first teacher in space, but she never made it. She died in the explosion along with the six astronauts accompanying her.

Most of today's moms are old enough to remember this event. Today is a good day to share this historical story with your children. It's also a good way to share an emotional story from your own childhood.


Our heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: 1986; america; american; anniversary; challenger; conservatism; florida; godsgravesglyphs; gop; history; mourning; nasa; obama; poetry; prayer; president; reagan; religion; republicans; ronaldreagan; ronaldwilsonreagan; science; shuttle; shuttlechallenger; space; spaceshuttle; teaparty; tragedy; tribute; tv; usa; values
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Ronald Wilson Reagan was as American any of us could ever hope to be. He loved his country, but he loved his countrymen more. He knew what to say, when to say it. He wasn't just a great President, but a great man as well. Here's hoping America finds another Reagan, before it's too late.

President Ronald Reagan - Address on the Challenger Disaster

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But, we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.' They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, 'He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.' Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

Thank you.

Ronald Reagan - January 28, 1986


1 posted on 01/28/2010 12:50:25 PM PST by free1977free
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To: All

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee, Junior (June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941)

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


2 posted on 01/28/2010 12:52:54 PM PST by free1977free
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To: free1977free

I was at FT Polk, LA. I was in the company HQ building walking by the dayroom as folks gathered to watch the take-off on the TV.

About 30 of us spent most of the rest of the day glued to that same TV just incredulous at what had happened.


3 posted on 01/28/2010 12:53:34 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (Marsha Coakley's been teabagged. Congrats Scott Brown! Mary Jo finally got even.)
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To: free1977free

I was at home watching it on TV. I saw the explosion and waited for the Challenger to come out on the other side for what seemed like a long time. I finally realized that the booster rockets going off on strange trajectories and the debris meant that the Challenger had exploded.


4 posted on 01/28/2010 12:56:25 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Truth - Reality through the eyes of God.)
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To: free1977free

It’s seems like it was only yesterday.

Thank God we had President Reagan.

If that had happened today, Obama would deny it occurred and go back to golfing. When pressed, he would then blame it on Bush.


5 posted on 01/28/2010 12:58:36 PM PST by Gator113 (Obama is America's First FAILED "light skinned African American [Pres-dent] with no Negro dialect..")
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To: free1977free

I was in a hotel room with my mother and grandparents. We were getting ready to head over to my orthodontist to have my braces taken off and had the Challenger launch on.


6 posted on 01/28/2010 12:58:40 PM PST by reaganaut (It's futile to talk facts to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance)
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To: free1977free

Actually few, if any, of the crew died in the explosion. They were killed or knocked unconscious upon impact after minutes of free-fall, drowning thereafter if they weren’t already dead.

All because stupid bureaucrats decided to play with other people’s lives.

24 years later and nothing has changed.


7 posted on 01/28/2010 12:58:55 PM PST by Filo (Darwin was right!)
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To: free1977free

I was working as a cop for the Welfare Department (now Dept Human Services) in Hamilton County Ohio.


8 posted on 01/28/2010 1:00:25 PM PST by Badeye (Still pretending Long Island is Manhattan, willie? (laughing))
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To: free1977free

I was at home. I worked B-shift at the time, so I was home during the daytime. My wife was home too and we were watching the launch. How awful it was when it Challenger exploded! I remember for a while the TV announcers were speculating about an escape pod. Of course, there was none.

RIP Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, you are not forgotten.


9 posted on 01/28/2010 1:00:25 PM PST by rochester_veteran ( http://RochesterConservative.com)
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To: free1977free

I remember it vividly. I was cleaning the sink in Masterchief Smith’s stateroom, in the Chief’s quarters of the CGC Polar Sea, docked in Seattle, when the announcement came over the 1MC that the shuttle had exploded on takeoff. We all gathered in the messdeck to watch the coverage on the TV. I remember standing there with the XO... we were all just staring slackjawed. Couldn’t believe it. It was a real punch in the gut.

Reagan postponed his SOTU address, instead giving those wonderful remarks that evening. Wow, do I ever miss that man all of a sudden.


10 posted on 01/28/2010 1:01:33 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: free1977free

I was at home living in Hawaii, and getting my kids ready for school.
Just shocked.


11 posted on 01/28/2010 1:02:33 PM PST by ronniesgal ( I miss George Bush. Hell, I miss Bill Clinton!!)
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To: free1977free

Two historic events I watched after injuries from riding morotcycles. I was laying bed with a broken leg watching the Challenger launch 24 years ago today. I taken a turn too fast, lowsided and slid into a fence.

On September 11, 2001 I was being moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular room after coming out of a coma brought on by crashing my motorcycle into a car that ran a stop sign. A nurse turned on the TV in my room and I was being moved from the bed I was rolled out of the ICU on to the bed in the room when the second Tower was hit.


12 posted on 01/28/2010 1:04:12 PM PST by Bad Jack Bauer (Fat and Bald? I was BORN fat and bald, thank you very much!)
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To: free1977free

I saw it live looking out my office window 35 miles away. It was a clear day and the upper level winds were weak. The smoke and the exhaust cloud hung around for hours. You could actually see pieces falling from the cloud even at my distance from the explosion.


13 posted on 01/28/2010 1:04:40 PM PST by JBR34
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To: free1977free

Saddest series of pictures I’ve ever seen is the one with Christa McCauliff’s family watching her go up. Her dad goes from proud parent to bewilderment and despair in a matter of seconds. He died of cancer a few years later and didn’t have the will to fight it. Her mother is still alive and goes around on lecture tours promoting space travel..


14 posted on 01/28/2010 1:04:47 PM PST by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: free1977free

Where were you on January 28th, 1986?

Driving home from a college class. Flipped on the car radio and picked up a NASA press conference in mid stream. I could tell that obviously something very bad had happened but the guy giving the presser droned on in typical bureaucrat fashion and never really said exactly what. It was not till I reached home that my family told me.


15 posted on 01/28/2010 1:06:23 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: free1977free

I was standing on the sidewalk in the front yard with my mother. I still remember what jacket I had on that day, it was the heaviest jacket I had as a kid. I remember being confused at first as I saw the fireball and the solid rocket boosters diverge. I knew from previous launches that wasn’t supposed to happen, and my mom kept saying to herself, “where are they, why aren’t they getting out of there?” I realized something was wrong, but it wasn’t until my mom grabbed me and rushed me inside that I realized the astronaut’s lives were in mortal danger. She feared the shuttle might have been carrying toxic or nuclear material and might pose a danger to us since we only lived about 20 miles or less from the pad. We watched the replays on NASA TV and waited to make sure there were no evacuation announcements for the area near the space center.


16 posted on 01/28/2010 1:06:27 PM PST by messierhunter
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To: free1977free

A few days before this happened I actually had a dream about the shuttle exploding on the launch pad.


17 posted on 01/28/2010 1:08:00 PM PST by massmike (...So this is what happens when OJ's jury elects the president....)
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To: Bad Jack Bauer

LOL... good grief. Hey, if you’re even in another motorcycle accident could you give us a heads-up that we should turn on the TV? ...or run for cover?


18 posted on 01/28/2010 1:08:25 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To this day I still have nightmares of shuttles exploding on launch or crashing on landing, but it was much worse when I was younger shortly after the event.


19 posted on 01/28/2010 1:08:29 PM PST by messierhunter
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To: free1977free

There were only about 10 people watching in the whole school, the best students I think. I was an awesome student because I was repeating the grade.

But I digress.


20 posted on 01/28/2010 1:09:23 PM PST by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: free1977free

Where was I? I had just gotten out of the dentist where I had had a root canal done and heard the news on the car radio. I rushed home and told my husband to turn on the news and we watched in horror as they played the footage over and over again,


21 posted on 01/28/2010 1:09:39 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: free1977free

I distinctly remember being incredulous at the media’s continued insistence that the astronauts had died instantly.


22 posted on 01/28/2010 1:09:40 PM PST by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: free1977free

Very moving speech by President Reagan. Written, I believe, by Peggy Noonan.


23 posted on 01/28/2010 1:10:08 PM PST by Churchillspirit (9/11/01...NEVER FORGET.)
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To: Bad Jack Bauer

I hope you stopped riding motorcycles before you lost a leg, or two.


24 posted on 01/28/2010 1:12:19 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: free1977free

I was in JSC Building 30 checking tapes out of the SPF to do the next Recon build. I rolled my shopping cart full of tapes into the MCC PCZ and over to the M&O console. No one was saying a word. I had to go around the console to see what was on the video monitor.


25 posted on 01/28/2010 1:13:38 PM PST by Elderberry
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To: free1977free

Eating lunch in the high school cafeteria. Kid across from me was listening to a radio, got a funny look, and told me what happened. I grabbed the radio and heard “...Christa McAuliffe is dead.” I considered jumping on a table and announcing the news to the room, but figured most would either be too confused or apathetic.


26 posted on 01/28/2010 1:14:33 PM PST by ctdonath2 (Pelosi is practically President; the Obama is just her talk show host.)
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To: free1977free

I was in a meeting with our department execs when someone came in and told us what happened. We brought a TV into the room and sat there and watch stunned for I don’t know how long. We dropped the meeting and finally returned to our offices to ponder the magnitude of what we had just witnessed.


27 posted on 01/28/2010 1:14:55 PM PST by OB1kNOb (I'd rather be over the hill than under it.)
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To: free1977free

OH...I remember clearly....I was sitting in my car prior to going in to teach a college class.....I had to go in there and inform the waiting students of what had just happened.....


28 posted on 01/28/2010 1:16:07 PM PST by goodnesswins (Become a Precinct Committee Person/Officer....in the GOP...or do NOT complain.)
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To: free1977free

I remember when a recitation of that poem, accompanied by inspiring video of a jet taking off into a beautiful blue sky, was the daily sign-off for a local station. Now that I’m older, I can never stay up late enough to know if it’s still being used. :-)


29 posted on 01/28/2010 1:18:36 PM PST by knittnmom ("...only dead fish 'go with the flow'". - Sarah Palin 7/09)
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To: free1977free

I was so nuts about space my mom let me stay home from kindergarten to watch the launch. I vividly remember saying to my mom, “They’re alright, aren’t they. They got parachutes.”

: (


30 posted on 01/28/2010 1:18:56 PM PST by Eepsy (www.pioacademy.org)
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
Her mother is still alive and goes around on lecture tours promoting space travel..

Poor woman. Lots of unintentional irony there, considering her daughter's life was thrown away promoting that very thing.

31 posted on 01/28/2010 1:19:18 PM PST by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: free1977free

I was in the USAF at Squadron Officer’s School in Montgomery, Alabama. We were between lectures and milling around in the hallway outside the auditorium when the rumor raced through the crowd. The next lecturer gave us the formal announcement of the disaster.


32 posted on 01/28/2010 1:19:28 PM PST by Siegfried
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To: free1977free

BTW, my husband is an engineer. The minute he heard that the fuel tanks had O rings as seals he said that that would have been the cause of the leak and the explosian. It was weeks before NASA agreed that that was the case. Of course it was exacerbated by the cold weather that morning. I think that it is a scandal that they made the engineers and the company that produced the fuel tanks the scape goat.

The engineer in charge advised against the launch because of the cold weather, but PR types at NASA over-rode his recommendation because they were embarrassed that the launch had been scrubbed several times that week already.


33 posted on 01/28/2010 1:19:56 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Filo

The managers overode the engineers who knew the SRB “O” rings would probably fail in 24 degree temperature. I wonder if they paid any consequence for overiding the engineers. There was a video of the crew compartment coming out of the gas cloud virtually intact and rumors had it the crew survived till impact. A sad day indeed. Thank God we had President Reagan then rather than the total joke we have now. God help us.


34 posted on 01/28/2010 1:20:09 PM PST by jesseam (Been there, done that)
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To: Blue Jays
I was just a kid and a very shocked police officer told a bunch of us as we waited for soccer practice to start.
President Reagan was also my hero then and I especially liked how he didn't give two minutes of absurd "shout outs" before mentioning this terrible tragedy.


35 posted on 01/28/2010 1:20:13 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: free1977free

I was in a primary school with TVs turned on all over because of Christa. They were turned off pretty fast.


36 posted on 01/28/2010 1:24:19 PM PST by lonestar (Obama and his czars have turned Bush's "mess" into a national crisis!)
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To: free1977free

Here is a song that mentions them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ryd_p20XEU


37 posted on 01/28/2010 1:26:53 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine
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To: Blue Jays

President and Nancy Reagan and families of the "Challenger" victims at the memorial service for the space shuttle crew in Houston, Texas. January.31 1986.

38 posted on 01/28/2010 1:28:32 PM PST by Reagan Man ("In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.")
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To: free1977free
I was a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.

I was arriving at C-0 Launch Control Facility to receive the last part of my Alternate Command Post crew training to upgrade to ACP/SCP crew.

A light snow was falling and I got out of the Suburban and walked into the Support Building. I stood by the Security Control Center door and saw the TV in the lounge and the pictures were of the pieces falling into the ocean.

The facility manager told me the shuttle had just blown up. There was dead silence in that support building.

39 posted on 01/28/2010 1:28:55 PM PST by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
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To: free1977free

Was working at Bendix at the time and because we were part of STS, we watched all launches and landings.
I will never forget that image. Never. God bless them all.


40 posted on 01/28/2010 1:29:05 PM PST by RedMDer (Recycle Congress in 2010, 2012...)
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To: Gator113

If you look carefully at President Reagan’s speech above, you’ll see lots of references to ‘we’ and ‘the American people’, things you’d never see in an Obama speech.

Lord, I really miss Reagan.


41 posted on 01/28/2010 1:30:52 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (You lie, Barry!)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I was working in a downtown office. No TV or radio. A coworker told me what happened. I didn’t cry until I saw the pictures that night. Such a shock.


42 posted on 01/28/2010 1:31:03 PM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: free1977free; oswegodeee; seenenuf; Chigirl 26; flaglady47; seekthetruth; Brytani; Bob Ireland; ...
About a dozen neighbors were in the back yard of my Florida gulf coast home hoping to see the lift-off directly across from us on the Atlantic Ocean side. We occasionally could view some lift-offs at that distance if weather conditions were right.

Those of us in the group could see my sun porch television set through sliding glass doors.

We couldn't see the lift-off this time for some reason....and a neighbor suddenly remarked on the somewhat unusual scenes appearing on the TV. Something didn't seem to be right, he said.

Then the TV showed the painfully-strained visages of the McAuliffe parents and other spectators....their anxious eyes all turned skyward as if they were searching for something they didn't want to see.

To make a long story short, we went inside and gathered around the TV. We shortly learned the bad news. We went outside again and looked skyward. Dark contrails and wisps of smoky puffiness were slowly falling toward earth......starkly marring the clear sunny blue sky of a perfect Florida day.

We must have watched these aftermaths of disaster heading earthward for at least a half hour. The debris and smoke clusters definitely must have been very far up because they took so long to come down.

Our group of neighbors then gloomily disbanded and we all went into our homes to watch TV.....each to deal in our own ways with the tragedy which had horribly played out almost over our heads.

Leni

43 posted on 01/28/2010 1:31:22 PM PST by MinuteGal (Bill O'Reilly: 9/8/09: "Communism is not a threat to us anymore"-10/20/09: "Obama is not a Marxist")
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To: free1977free

I was just interviewed for a job with one of the companies that supported NASA on the Challenger mission, started work there on Feb 3rd, 1986 and I am still working for them today. I actually just met Scott Parazynski, a former astronaut and current Chairman for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education today, we had lunch. Nice guy, great sense of humor.


44 posted on 01/28/2010 1:33:19 PM PST by ravingnutter
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To: free1977free

One of Reagan’s best speeches! That man could bring tears to your eyes...and did, many times. Commanding, soft spoken, authoritative. There’s been no one like him since. W would’ve done a nice speech I’m sure.


45 posted on 01/28/2010 1:35:39 PM PST by albie
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To: reagan_fanatic

I miss him more than I have the words to describe.


46 posted on 01/28/2010 1:36:24 PM PST by Gator113 (Obama is America's First FAILED "light skinned African American [Pres-dent] with no Negro dialect..")
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To: free1977free

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NOKyLgmYn0

Challenger tribute with John Denver music, very moving
Ironic considering how Denver himself later died

I was at CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, heard the news in the watch center, went out into the parking lot and saw the horrible twisted contrails in the east


47 posted on 01/28/2010 1:37:28 PM PST by silverleaf
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To: free1977free

I was a new hire in a corporate orientation class. Someone in the hall stuck his head through the door and announced the disaster. I had a Sony Watchman TV in my briefcase. 30 people crowded around for an hour watching that tiny screen.


48 posted on 01/28/2010 1:44:03 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Our company was in the field that day. I remember our squad preparing some fighting positions when our platoon sergeant came by to check on our progress. After a few minutes, he turned to leave to when he said, “Yeah, somebody over in the TOC just said that the shuttle blew up. That’s all I know about it.” Learned in the evening that it blew up just after launch. Didn’t learn any more or see any footage till we got out of the field a few days later.


49 posted on 01/28/2010 1:44:56 PM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: Badeye

I was working that day after having both legs crushed in an accident at my brother-in-law’s house helping him wire the house. The alarm installer needed to get behind some 12’ by 4’ sheetrock lain against a wall and ‘we’ pulled it back enough for the guy to get to the box to run the wire. Only my BIL pulled too hard and the 20 sheets of sheetrock pushed me over to the floor and crushed my legs.......just about the worst day I ever had...I still have cringes and shooting pains in one ankle because of it....Think about what 20 sheets of 12’X 4’ X 1/2” sheetrock weigh....I can tell you what it feels like....


50 posted on 01/28/2010 1:45:50 PM PST by Gaffer ("Profling: The only profile I need is a chalk outline around their dead ass!")
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