The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred 22 years ago today - where were you? I was home sick from school, watching my favorite soap opera, and saw it live on television. I recall it feeling slightly unreal. It was hard to make an emotional connection right away; that changed in the following days.
President Ronald Reagan's national address that evening paraphrased several lines from the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an aviator who died during WWII:
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored 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 their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
If you know me, you can probably guess my feelings about the Reagan years, but I feel this speech was one of his better moments.