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Yes, We Had the TV on This Morning…

And I’m not apologizing for it, either.

It was the final space shuttle launch, and I wanted my girls to watch a bit of history in the making. I’ll admit, I was more sentimental about it than I thought I would be. I wonder if my older daughter (my younger is too little) will remember where she was when she watched this launch — the way I vividly remember where I was when I watched the first launch 30 years ago. I watched that launch on a TV in the basement of a house in Independence, Missouri. I still recall the address. The tile floor. A 25-inch console TV. History in the making. I wanted to go into space, too.

I believe the space shuttle is one of those things that will define my generation. The space shuttle saw the first female astronaut on a mission. We grieved as a nation when Challenger (taking the first teacher into space) exploded 73 seconds into its mission. We rejoiced when the program resumed again 2 years and 8 months later. I remember what I was doing when the news started to report that Columbia was not responding during re-entry, and the subsequent angst of a nation as yet another crew of 7 lost their lives pursuing the ultimate frontier. We are a resilient nation, and the shuttle continued to fly. Until today. If all goes according to plan, less than two weeks from now, we will watch Atlantis land for the final time.

And so, today, we turned the TV on to watch a bit of history. I hope to take my children to one of the museums that will serve as a new home to the remaining orbiters. I never got to watch a launch in person (will have to amend my bucket list), but I hope to share a bit of my childhood with them.

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