Saturday, January 28, 2006

Remembering the Challenger

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
--Ronald Reagan

I was reminded today of the twentieth anniversary of losing the Challenger. I'm amazed that it has been that long and I'm also aware that most of my students were either not born or in diapers.

Ronald Reagan gave a beautiful tribute that evening to the crew, and quoted the first and last line of this poem:

"High Flight"

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, or 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.

--John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

2 comments:

Keith said...

We were watching it on TV at a school assembly when it happened. No one really knew what had happened. I can also remember Peter Jennings crying on the news that day.

Chris R. said...

My 3rd grade teacher went through the program they had to pick the teacher that was going to go up on Challenger.