That tears brought an end to our blind faith in the daily leaps forward in technology and innovation. I remember it well. I wasn't paying much attention to the lift off. I was vaguely aware that a teacher was going on this mission. But by then, space shuttles had become par for the course. We were waiting for the next big leap forward.
Then, this day 30 years ago, I was on my way down from classes in my freshman year of college. I went to a branch of The Ohio State University. There was only one building at the branch back then. There was a commons, and in a corner was an old manual dial television set. As I came into the commons I saw a gathering crowd around the TV. Wondering what it was all about, I maneuvered my way over to see the news. As disinterested as I was in space flight, I remember feeling empty and shaken by the thought of what happened.
Later as the nation came together and mourned in a way my boys will never know, President Reagan came on and delivered one of the great addresses of presidential history. So we can remember what it was to be a country, to have values and morals beyond the waistline, and to remember that all things didn't rise and fall in the latest partisan poll numbers, here is the speech that brought comfort and a little meaning back to a nation that was stunned by an unthinkable tragedy back in the day:
God bless and keep those heroes who died, and bring peace to their loved ones, and all of us left behind who were made a little better by their heroism.