Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Alabama
A very touching article that I found about that horrible day- Bucky
Where were you when the Challenger exploded?
It was like Pearl Harbor. It was like JFK's assassination. It was like 9/11 and the day Elvis died.
When the space shuttle Challenger exploded before a live TV audience of mostly schoolchildren, it left a permanent mark on the psyches of most Americans who were old enough to remember.
The Raycom News Network took an informal Facebook poll and asked people where they were when the Challenger exploded. We received more than 200 responses in less than an hour.
Bobbi Rahanek was an 8-year-old in North Dakota, and her mother kept her home to watch the launch. She was sitting on the floor watching the shuttle go up when it exploded.
"I screamed and cried and asked my mother if we could go there to help save them," she said. "When she told me no, I ran to my room and cried forever. To this day it saddens me for all of them and their families. What a tragedy and a dark day for us all."
Jodell Johnson-Bridge of Murrells Inlet, SC, was in Disney World in Orlando, FL, about 55 miles from Cape Canaveral, where the space shuttle launched.
"Everyone was looking up, thinking it was all routine," she said. "I will always remember the moment as a sad one, a moment when I was watching lives come to an end."
Shannon Bizzell Gray of Tampa, FL, was in the eighth grade at St. Bede Catholic School in Montgomery, AL. She said she remembers sitting in silence after the tragedy.
"Which says a lot for a bunch of eighth graders. All the kids just looking at each other like, 'That didn't just really happen did it?' They turned the TV off pretty quickly after it happened, and we just tried to go back to normal school life."
But for the schoolchildren who witnessed the tragedy, nothing about the day could ever be normal. For that generation, it was the first time they realized their heroes - their teachers - could vanish in a plume of smoke