It was the last year of high school. It was a brisk cool day. My usual routine was go to class. After class take the city bus to downtown Hartford, get off in front of Friendly’s Restaurant. There I ordered my usual– a chicken sandwich with extra mayo and a strawberry fribble. Then I would take the Vine Street Bus down Albany Ave and get off at my stop on the corner of East Street. Five minutes later I would climb to the 3rd floor, turn on the tv, make my way to the kitchen. I would unwrap my sandwich and load it with bread and butter pickles. As I sat to eat my lunch before going to my work study job (Hartford Enterprise Zone), I turned to Channel 3 news and… there it was! A beautiful white ball that took a sharp right turn then back to the earth it fell!
As I sit with my sandwich in my hand, the hunger I felt just 30 seconds before, no longer existed. I thought of Mr. Ronald McNair, the only Black Astronaut on board of the Challenger. I thought of Christa McAuliff, the only teacher aboard, Judith Resnik, the only female Astronaut.I also thought of Smith, Scobee, Onizuka and Jarvis, Then I thought of the loss to their loved ones, the loss to the world. Although I did not know them personally I cried as if I lost someone I knew and loved.
After sobbing, I gathered myself together. On this day I would walk to my job. I no longer felt the cold on my face. I needed to think. Reflect on what had just happened to me, the world. As I walked to work, that’s when I decided that I needed to live for every moment. To go for my dreams of being a pilot. Although I am but a student pilot, I still have dreams of becoming a licensed pilot. To someday fly to whatever destination that I decide upon. It is amazing and some what sad that it takes a tragedy to make us wake up and be thankful.