Thursday, January 28, 2016

30 Years Ago Today...

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

-- Pres. Reagan speaking of the Challenger astronauts (Jan. 28, 1986)

Another non-math post today, in tribute to the seven astronauts (including famously, America's first teacher-in-space) who perished when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded shortly after lift-off 30 years ago today -- a moment burned into the memory of most who experienced it.

Below, John Denver's tribute to them (Denver, a lover of flight, would die in his own plane crash in 1997).
And below that, some doggerel tribute that I wrote back at the time.

10 Miles High (to the Challenger Seven)

Hopes and dreams
Ensheathed in steel
Adventure sought,
Death revealed
The sky aflame
Seven souls afire
A missile becomes
A funeral pyre...
There, 10 miles high.

And tears enough
To flood a dam
Burst across
This bereaved land
As we unite
To share the pain
That has been dealt
Our way again...
From 10 miles high.

With disbelief
We shake our heads
In heartfelt grief
We hug the kids
Absorb their hurt
Qualm their fears
Help them help us
Through the tears...
From 10 miles high.

Time will pass
So too our sorrow
Always there is
A tomorrow
But not for seven
Bright and brave
Unknowing heroes
We lost today
Somewhere... 10 miles high.

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