I was sixteen when the Challenger accident happened, the Challenger mission had a buzz about it other shuttle missions didn’t because a teacher was going, because Christa McAuliffe, was going to be the first teacher in space… I don’t remember if we watched TV coverage in class or not but afterwards I do recall President Reagan canceling the State of the Union and how instead he comforted a grieving nation with a poem by John G Magee
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 wind-swept 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.