Today we depart from our usual lighthearted fare to remember. Events occur in life which abruptly remind us of the frailty of existence and for the rest of our days on this earth, we remember where we were, who we were with, and we re-live some of the feelings we experienced at the time of occurrence. Thankfully, these events are few and far between. The date of 9/11 is but one example. No doubt we need not remind anyone of the events surrounding that day or the feelings of horror we all shared. Though I was but a small child, November 22, 1963 was the first such event I recall when our nation reeled following a seemingly senseless act, the reasons for which still remain shrouded. And on today’s date, January 28, in 1986, one other event occurred that affected deeply me and millions of other teachers, adults and schoolchildren as we watched in horror as the space shuttle, Challenger, exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. Our first thoughts were for the families of the astronauts, especially those of Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher from New Hampshire whose classroom halted studies to watch their teacher make history; among them, her own children.
So today, we are taking a moment to remember every public servant; police, firefighter, paramedic, military, and yes, our astronauts, who have dedicated their days in service of their fellow man. They leave their homes each workday, kiss their family members goodbye, and bravely walk head first into a day that has a high probability of disaster. They plan for the “maybe”, train for the “what if”, and pray they need neither their planning or training that day. We herewith honor those who have not returned home or returned home physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually damaged. You are NOT forgotten.
We invite you to join us as we remember.
V & K
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