by Amelia Earhart
Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release
From little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
How can Life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soul's dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.
I was a sophomore in college when Challenger exploded, working at the school newspaper of which I was then books editor. When the executive editor walked in and told us, we thought at first it might be a sick joke someone had sent over the Associated Press wire -- there was no TV in the office and it took awhile for someone to pull out a radio. Then I went back to my dorm room, a quad I shared with two of my best friends and a suite-mate from France. I'm pretty sure we all missed classes that afternoon but I don't remember what I was supposed to be doing -- I just remember sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the shuttle explode over and over and watching Christa McAuliffe's parents' faces.
I still have the newspapers from the next morning. I can still name all seven of the Challenger crew. Am wondering how long it will be before we can all name Columbia's crew.