Friday, January 28, 2011

Today is a day to remember heroes and Heroines of exploration

I distinctly remember the day, 25 years ago this morning. I was in eighth grade. I rode my bike to school as always, and locked it up in the racks.

Something was in the air, an odd feeling, as I went inside the building. The teachers were huddled around a television in the teacher's lounge. The space shuttle had exploded in flight, killing all the astronauts aboard.

I wish I could remember exactly how I felt. I had just begun to keep a journal that year but I didn't write anything. Maybe I just didn't know what I should write.

It was a heart-breaking day. I know that much.

The essence of humanity is curiosity -- the vision,the craving for knowledge, the urge to explore new places. That day, the dream, the drive, had painful consequences.

History is filled with the stories of brave men and Women who advanced human knowledge and experience. Such was Pocahontas. We learn of John Smith and the rest of the Jamestown crew and marvel at their courage. But their Old World was for Her a completely New World, which took incredible bravery on Her part to visit.

What of the first adventurers to climb Mt. Everest? To visit the North and South Poles? What of the long-ago Polynesians who settled the Pacific islands with no navigational guides but the stars to aid them?

The expansion of human knowledge will ever have moments of exhilaration, and moments of great tragedy. But we must go on. We are not meant to be mere animals, living in the bubble of the present, living only to fill our bellies and reproduce the species. We are meant to step into the unknown and find answers to the questions there ... and find more questions for which to seek answers.

4 comments:

BraveHeart said...

"..living in a bubble of present,.."
interestingly worded. I like that.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Thank You, Ela.

kat said...

Where was I?

my brother was with me this Friday and we had been together that day too many many years ago
on a ski trip in North Georgia

thanks for the posting

and what is so so tragic- it was preventable- the concern/warning/alert had been sounded to all the higher ups- at that company and to NASA as well

sad to say. not just heroes of exploration. but of exploitation as well. and if one says that risk is part of their job description, well that is so true.... but this was not an ordinary risk and occasion.... and they had a civilian on board to consider.... and they didn't.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Kat, just like the financial meltdown of a few years ago. Listening to the politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle, you'da thought every Congressman and Senator in D.C., Repubs and Dems both, saw the writing on the wall and was screaming bloody murder for someone to stop it.

Yet it happened anyway. Very strange.

Ever since the saber-tooth tiger went extinct, the worst enemy of man has been ... man.