Friday, January 28, 2011


Where were you or what were you doing when you heard that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, 25 years ago today?  How about the Kennedy Assassination, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, September 11th and so on. Where were you and what were you doing?  
When you stop to think, what makes these events so different, that when asked, you can recall with pristine clarity where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, how you felt, who informed you, the weather and probably even the smells in the air at that particular moment. These are like bookmark events in our lives. Times when we fell asleep or stopped paying attention, when all of the sudden, we are startled back into complete consciousness with shocking, unexpected news and hit the event record button of our brains.
What? I didn’t know Kennedy was in Dallas! But Shuttle Missions are so routine! They are sending civilian school teachers up! Who the hell is al-Qaeda?! And so it usually goes following such events. There was nothing on our radar, no inkling something of this magnitude could happen in our days. I remember my boss at the time, looked at my shocked expression and said “People have forgotten that space travel is still Experimental, it is anything but routine. Why are they sending teachers into space?”
Another thing happens after these events. Change. Things change. You remember sometimes how things were before the event and how things have changed since the event. One steep learning curve takes place and in some way things are different afterwards.
So what can we do with that? Go to that bookmarked page today and remember, that one moment that you stood still, really paid attention and mourned a great loss. Ask someone else, where were you or what were you doing when you heard that the Challenger exploded?” I think this is God’s way of honoring the brave. He puts these “Bookmarks” in our brains lest we forget and to remind us to pay attention more.

Who me?
Kennedy- I was too young but I remember saddness and crying.
The Challenger and 9/11- I was stuck in traffic on my way to work.
The Columbia accident- I was at home when Judy my sister called. It was a cold sunny day.

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