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March 30, 2009

i’ve never been in space, i’m not going into space, and i’ve never met an astronaut, nor any of the pioneers of flight. i’ve watched every shuttle launch and landing, and did the same with the landing this weekend. i find it all so damned fascinating! minds at work can send humans into outer space, and those humans can land on the moon and even spend months on a space station. can you imagine how our earth looks? i can’t, but a lucky few do know. amazing.

if you were around in 1986, specifically on january 28th of that year, you remember that day with sadness and mourning. on that day, an average american was on that shuttle flight, and watching her go, go, go were her friends and family, and of course her students. a teacher in space; how fucking cool is that! it was neat and thrilling, and awe-inspiring. to think that an average joe or jill could do what only a select few have had the opportunity to accomplish. outstanding!

as we were watching the television and witnessing that horrific explosion, we all hoped the astronauts died instantly and were without pain. there were reports they may have been alive for a number of minutes after the explosion, and no one wanted to dwell on that. we needed to process what we had just seen, and instantly our thoughts turned to her students, many of whom were seen on tv reacting to the explosion. how do you help a child through this, help them understand the concept of mortality, and how do you help them grieve?

shuttle launches and landings have almost become commonplace, but they’re anything but that. millions of pounds of rocket fuel, highly combustible and all around you, propelling you thousands of miles an hour away from this rock you call home. that’s fucking ballsy. to have yourself strapped in and have that candle lit, well, how many of us can really say we’re willing to do that …

God bless them all, and their families.

i’ll leave you with the great president reagan as he addressed the nation on the explosion. we did share your anguish, and we continue to do so today.

we will never forget them nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waived goodbye, and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.

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