‘Challenger’ Space Shuttle Disaster, 25 Years Ago

Death Comes Home in the Morning


Rosemary said the Shuttle had exploded.

Donna turned on the office radio.

News came in the same tone as the spoken news

From Dallas when President Kennedy was shot.

The pub TV played without commercials.

The flying machine shattered.

It wasn’t the biggest loss in numbers,

It wasn’t the worst kind of death,

But it wasn’t supposed to happen.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way

For the believers who sing “sweet land of liberty”

And tape the first dollar bill to the wall of their first store,

And wave each other on at a crossroads

In the friendliest of gestures between strangers on wheels.


—Paul Marion (c) 1986

One Response to ‘Challenger’ Space Shuttle Disaster, 25 Years Ago

  1. Marie says:

    I had the TV on watching the the faces anticipating the Challenger launch – especially those of the Christa McAuliffe’s family. McAuliffe from Framingham was a friend of a family member and she was a teacher – this was historic and yet closely connected. The day was so clear in Florida – picture perfect for that launch. Multi-tasking – I was also on the phone in a kind-of meeting about Lowell’s Sesquicentennial celebration – history. Talking and looking – I was stunned by what I saw and shaken by its meaning. The look on Mrs. McAuliffe’s face will stay with me forever. RIP Christa McAuliffe