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Today we are remembering some people who changed our lives forever. The crew of the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia. We also lost our beloved Pete Seeger. I am remembering them this way.

On this date in 1986 we lost seven brave men and women as we attempted to probe outer space when the space shuttle Challenger exploded.

Francis R. Scobee – Mission Commander
Michael J. Smith – Pilot
Ellison S. Onizuka – Mission Specialist 1
Judith A. Resnik – Mission Specialist 2
Ronald E. McNair – Mission Specialist 3
Christa McAuliffe – Payload Specialist 1, Teacher in space
Gregory B. Jarvis – Payload Specialist 2

On February 1, 2003 we lost the Columbia.

Rick D. Husband - Commander
William C. McCool - Pilot
Michael P. Anderson - Payload Commander
Ilan Ramon - Payload Specialist
Kalpana Chawla - Mission Specialist
David M. Brown - Mission Specialist
Laurel Blair Salton Clark - Mission Specialist

For our brave astronauts this poem has always been so meaningful to me.

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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 windswept 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.

Touched the Face of God
And for our Pete Seeger.
Serenading the Stars
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 12:53:50 PM PST

  •  "In Dreams They Fly" - Cynthia McQuillin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln
    It's seldom that real tragedy impinges on our lives
    As we hurry through the day today and we struggle to survive
    But in January '86 the Challenger was lost
    Seven people died that day and we wondered at the cost
    In our dreams they fly

    "They have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and touched the face of God"
    Those were the words he uttered, in a voice both strained and awed
    And though he was the President, he seemed so very kind
    I thought he really meant those words, and they lingered on my mind
    In our dreams they fly

    The whole world mourned that tragedy, but more than bodies burned
    Will their death bring any changes, can we gain by what we learned?
    Sometimes the easy victories are not enough to serve
    Let their sacrifice not be in vain; that's less than they deserve
    In our dreams they fly

    Oh we'll pick up all the pieces now, and start the race afresh
    Perhaps we'll set a slower pace, but our faith will be no less
    And I look at all the children now, and I wonder if they know
    We've come so very far today, but we've got so far to go
    In our dreams they fly...

    Shop Kos Katalogue
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:43:15 PM PST

  •  "Dreams" - Mercedes Lackey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln
    It might have been a dream, I guess, though I curled up to read;
    Too choked with grief and dark despair to even think of sleep.
    Well I wasn't quite awake I know and someone called my name,
    And I turned to look behind me, and now I'll never be the same.

    "We never knew what hit us, so I guess the fates were kind,"
    Dick Scobee said, "But not so good to those that we left behind.
    And not just our friends and families, though they have a lot to bear,
    But every one of you who felt that fireball split the air."

    "Just find the cause," said Mike Smith, "Find the cause, and start again.
    Hell, we knew it could happen, though we didn't reckon when.
    Look, we could have gone in 'Nam, or on the highway in our cars;
    Just find the cause, and get her up, and going to the stars."

    "Look, this isn't just for us," Ell said, "Or for the U.S.A.
    Or for one race or class or creed, or even for today.
    No, this is for tomorrow, for our future, for our dreams
    So get her up and going, rising on our fire stream."

    "I always was a teacher first; this lesson is my last,"
    So Christa said, and pointed down the way back to the past.
    "Look, radium killed Curie, and aviation got its share
    Sacrifices happen; get that bird back in the air."

    Greg just smiled and nodded, "She's got it right, you know.
    But some folks now are are saying that civilians shouldn't go.
    Look we've got the right to take the risk just like Earhart and like Scott,
    So let us civvies have our chance to give it our best shot."

    Judy pointed to the stars before she spoke a word,
    and I stared in spellbound wonder and her quiet voice I heard:
    "That's where we all are going, we just left a little soon;
    So let's get her up and flying, and take man out past the moon."

    Ron said, "I speak for all; we don't want statues in the park
    And we don't want plaques and monuments to show that we made our mark.
    Go rebuild that ship that took us, that is all we ask of you,
    And let our memory fly on the flames of Challenger 2."

    "Let's get her up and flying," they all said together then,
    And they faded out in starfields, like I'll never see again.
    I was blinded by the glory, and I didn't see them leave,
    And yet it might have been a dream, but me, I will believe.

    Oh I was blinded by the glory, and I didn't see them leave
    and yes it might have been a dream, but me, well I believe.

    Shop Kos Katalogue
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:49:16 PM PST

  •  I posted the lyrics to two songs above (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln

    that are from a Challenger memorial album my husband has.  They never fail to bring tears to my eyes.  

    I remember watching Challenger; for some reason I was home from school that day and watching on the TV in the living room.  Most clear in my mind are the details of the room, rather than thoughts or emotions, perhaps because I was young (under 10yrs old).  

    Shop Kos Katalogue
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:52:40 PM PST

  •  nice memorial- loved the picture. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln

    I remember the day we lost Challenger vividly.  Been a lifelong fan of the space program and I was living in Sarasota Florida at the time.  It was very cold for Florida that morning and I clearly remember thinking about the launch as I was driving to work that morning and wondering if they would postpone it.   I also remember Columbia, one morning I happened to wake at 3 or so and Columbia was making a night landing and I went outside and saw the lights as she came in overhead.  
    Much as I hated Ronald Reagan, he did a good job recognizing the crew and honoring them.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:43:26 PM PST

    •  Bush1 was at the Cape that day (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      michelewln

      had he not been impatient with delays ...
      Challenger might have waited on better weather.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:58:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They span the reaching sky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln

    from shore to star.

    Without their spirit we'd be less.
    May peace and comfort find those who miss them every day.
    May their spirits meet companions in the Summerlands.
    May we remember always that they were suitable for awe.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:57:40 AM PST

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