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Anniversaries - Stomping Grounds
January 28th, 2012
08:49 am
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Anniversaries
People a bit older than me remember where they were when they heard about the Kennedy assassination. People a bit younger than me remember 9/11. I'll always remember being at the CU UMC manning a table for the fencing club on January 28, 1986, when the news about Challenger broke.

To this day I have never watched the footage.

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From:randomdreams
Date:January 28th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
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I was in my senior year of high school. It was hard to avoid that footage.

It's a mild surprise to learn you were fencing at CU. My brother and I both spent a lot of time at the fencing club there between 1989-1992.
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From:elthar
Date:January 28th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
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In the immediate aftermath, it was sheer chance that I didn't end up seeing the footage, but after a day or two I started consciously avoiding it.

By 1989 I'd drifted away from fencing, alas -- senior year, followed by grad school, and all. Though I'll always remember the fencing club, not least because I met a girl there whom I dated for four years...
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From:agrimony
Date:January 28th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
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We were watching it live at school when it happened.
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From:elthar
Date:January 28th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Thousands and thousands were -- I particularly don't envy the folks who were there in person.
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From:luagha
Date:January 28th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
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I also, was in high school. I wasn't watching the footage at the very moment, but many were and we were brought in to see the news as they replayed it.

My drama teacher was a semi-finalist for the position Christa McAuliffe won. He was hit pretty hard.
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From:elthar
Date:January 28th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
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No doubt. It would be difficult to escape survivor's guilt in such a circumstance.
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From:lordjulius
Date:January 29th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
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I remember seeing the replayed footage on the TV in the (very same) school library. Hard to imagine it was 25 years ago.
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From:kent
Date:January 29th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
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I would have been watching it in the classroom (I think; I don't remember the timing of the launch) except our school bus was late and it happened either when we were still waiting or in transit. So I only saw replays and someone told us what happened before we saw it.

A teacher at my school was one of the finalists for the Teacher in Space thing but didn't make the final cut.
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From:grimalkinrn
Date:January 29th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
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I was home sick from school when the Challenger crashed. My mom had told me to watch it take off, so I was about 7 or 8 and completely alone. My mom rushed home from work and found me in a ball. I remember vaguely Reagan getting shot, but that didn't affect me as much as the Challenger. I had been hearing about it at school forever, it as terrible.
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From:elthar
Date:January 29th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Oh, man, that'd be terrible. I was at least able to process it as an adult rather than a kid all alone.

I haven't even watched footage of the Twin Towers collapsing. The constant coverage was a factor in our deciding to turn off cable.
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From:phoenixfire12
Date:January 29th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
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I had come home from work (graveyard shift) and Gypsy was at work when our other roommate came upstairs and woke me up saying that it had happened. I stood in front of the TV in shock for about 10 or o minutes watching it before I called Gypsy at work and told her. It still makes me cry to hear or read about it.

Hearing about Columbia was just as bad. Hubby and I had some bad news that day, but the good news was we had paid off something (I think it was the car) and so we had extra money to go to Gateway and buy ourselves laptops. We were so excited. Then we heard of Columbia on the radio and that was such a shock.

When Kenny G's Millennium song came out I was ok up to the point where Challenger was destroyed. I cried for the rest of the song because I remembered every single one of the tragedies like it was yesterday. I still can't hear that song without getting a fearful shiver down my spine and my eyes tear up.

9-11 was a big shock. I can't even go into all the details about that one. It's long and still makes me sick to my stomach. I just kept thinking how it all looked like some Hollywood movie with some very realistic special effects.

Edited at 2012-01-29 08:49 pm (UTC)
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From:elthar
Date:January 31st, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
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Wow, I hardly know what to say. I admire your empathy.
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From:sarakate
Date:January 31st, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
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As I'm a couple of years younger than you, I was in high school. I remember that they had a TV set up in the cafeteria, because of the whole Teacher in Space deal, but parts of my memory are conflicting -- my mind wants to insist BOTH that I watched it happen live, and that it was at lunchtime, but those can't both be true, since it did NOT happen at lunchtime CST, so either I was passing between classes at the time, or it was a replay at lunchtime but nobody had yet told me what happened, because it was a total shock.

Columbia had a much more visceral impact on me, probably because of where I was -- Amy was a tiny baby, and we were making our first visit after her birth to my dad's house in Arlington, TX. That I definitely watched unfold live, on local Dallas TV -- they had a crew out somewhere south of Dallas, under the intended flight path, to watch it go over, and first there was confusion, and then a sort of half-hearted denial (it was "late," which of course is basically impossible), and then stunned comprehension, and then all day long new bits of news about debris recovery and theories about what happened and so on. And when we were out around town, all the LED highway signs had messages about what to do if you found pieces, because this was a perfectly reasonable expectation, ugh.
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From:elthar
Date:January 31st, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I definitely don't envy you that Columbia experience. Massive debris field. I'll always remember the Columbia anniversary because it's my dad's birthday.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 31st, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
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I was in second grade... we were watching it on tv, when it happened... We were all so confused being as young as we were, so my teacher just turned it off and said... well guess we're going to do something else now.
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