So in January 1986, I came down to lunch one day my junior year in high school. One of my freshman friends ran up and breathlessly informed us, “The space shuttle went kablooie!” We couldn’t believe it. But someone wheeled televisions into the main atrium and we sat there watching the coverage as long as we could, until we had to go back to class. It was hard to concentrate on anything the rest of the day.
In September 2001, Anne woke me up around 8:00 am to tell me a plane had flown in the World Trade Center. The rest of that day is pretty well known to the world.
Today, Jason woke me up. “Turn on the news.” Turning on the TV is a kind of complicated process around here (finding remotes, getting TIVO to cooperate, etc). “What?” What, of course, was Columbia.
And the day passed. I did what I planned. I didn’t get to listen much news. Everyone else seemed to be going about their business. It was strange. Is it because this is the second time? Is it because were still so numb from 9/11? No idea.
My thoughts go to the affected families. My hope is that we will continue to explore space — but that’s probably a thin hope right now. And wonder what comes next.