25 Years Ago – A Child’s Point of View on Space Shuttle Challenger

Told from a child’s point of view, this is what happened 25 years ago on the day the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up:

It is a chilly, but sunny afternoon. After gym class I head to history. I hear an annoying boy named John yelling in the courtyard.

“The space shuttle blew up!”

He points to the sky at a puffy looking cloud in the air. John is known to say and do things for attention, so I don’t believe him.

“Shut up!” I say. “That’s just a cloud.”

“No, I swear!” he says.

John isn’t lying. I arrive to history class. Our teacher, Mrs. Still, has the television on and announces that the Space Shuttle Challenger has exploded into the sky, killing all seven astronauts, including the first teacher in space. I have never seen a teacher cry until I see Mrs. Still. The entire class sits in awe as we watch the tragedy on the news for the entire fifty minutes. Mrs. Still tells us that it is an historical day in our lives, and that in the future we will always remember what we were doing on the day that the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.

Excerpt from Unheard: a memoir
©2010 Susanna Hartigan
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