January 28, 2011

Take nothing for granted

If you haven't already heard about it repeatedly, today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Shuttle Challenger disaster. January 28, 1986 - routine by all accounts and then shocking. Shocking I suppose because like most everyone, I took the Shuttle program somewhat for granted. We had such a success rate over the years that the idea of one blowing up seemed remote. But that assumption is what gets us in trouble every time, taking things for granted. After the first several Shuttle launches, I admit to not paying a whole lot of attention when another one went up. It all settled into routine. So of course, it would never occur to me that one would actually blow up - and blow up the way it did. So on that day, that January 28th it was time for a reality check.

Like everyone else I knew, I stood frozen over the TV as the footage of the explosion was played over and over again. Horrifying and spectacular by the surrealism of it all. Reminded of the Hindenburg disaster and the footage from that - the enormous dirigible exploding in the sky and the terror-stricken reporter screaming "Oh, the humanity!" Yes indeed. . . the humanity.

So here is a clip from that day as a reminder.

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