Thursday, January 28, 2016

Remembering Christa McAuliffe

Re-Post: It's been thirty years, as of today.

"First teacher in space" - it wasn't meant to be. But everywhere in the world, teachers looking up to the stars will think of you tonight. I, for one, certainly will. You're really up there.


Anonymous said...

25 years!

As I understand the process, Christa competed against about 11,500 other teachers to earn her place on this mission. Because she wanted to.
As I understand it, Christa had to undergo intesive training away from her 2 little children and her husband. Because she wanted to.
I have heard stories of soldiers, during wartime, giving up their lives for their fellow soldiers. Not because they wanted to.

I have heard other stories of folks going into burning buildings to save other people's lives. Not because they wanted to.
Is a "HERO" someone who does something dangerous not because he/she "wants to"...........OR is a "HERO" someone who does something he/she "wants to".
Maybe it's me, but ever since that horrific day of 25 years ago, I have heard that Christa was/is a hero and I haven't yet figured out how someone who left her family for training, competed to win the chance for this adventure and won,and who was doing something she wanted to do is a hero.
For my money, the guy that gave up his life to save other soldiers and the person that rushed into a burning building to save lives............they're HEROS !

Someone who competed and wanted to do something and finally did it, is not my idea of a hero.

Please help me understand why Christa is/was a hero. I don't get it.

Thank you.

Weese said...

Anonymous -- I don't think it matters how you get there. Giving up your life for something meant to benefit others in whichever way IS the ultimate sacrifice, period. Plus, it takes a LOAD of courage putting your life in the hands of a machine that spits fire at its end, driven by the power of I-don't-know-how-many tons of explosives, no matter how often it has gone well. So, maybe McAuliffe isn't the same type of hero as the brave men and women who gave their lives for a fellow soldier or rescued a kid out of a burning building - for whom I virtually bow my head here, too - but I don't think that makes her a "lesser" one. Everything else is freedom of opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reasoning....
However, I have to once again point out that she left her family for training (2 young children---if my grandkids mother did that, I'd be up in arms),she competed to earn this adventure---and do not compete for something unless you personally want/desire that victory, and......(this is the important part)......she never thought that this horrible thing would/could happen. Sure there was maybe a one in a million chance, but future glory for herself superceded these miniscule odds.
Real heroes perform their deeds knowing full well that they may be hurt or even killed.
OK.......she's a different type of hero you say.......By golly you've got me there.
I'm pushing 70 and this is the first time I've heard that there are "classes" of heroes.
I'll give your line of thought some consideration and maybe I'll change my mind and come to the conclusion that she was something akin to a "Class 4 hero".....
I wonder what class of hero her young children thought she was when she left them for training and unfortunately died doing what she wanted to do.

Weese said...

Begging your pardon at the fact that you seem to be a native speaker of English whereas I am not, I still would like to point out that I used the word "type" and not "class" deliberately, trying to avoid the very kind of sarcastic remark you're throwing in the ring here. Considering her "leaving her children", I see a contradiction in your reasoning - first of all, everyone has to leave their children to go to work, some people like travelling salesmen for months at a time (and no, I won't accept the "she's a woman and her place is at home / why does she even need a job if her husband has one" kind of argument, even from someone going on 70). If you choose to pursue a career as an astronaut teacher", at the end of the day it's still a job earning you money to support yourself and your family, too, although I can see that there is an element of self-fulfillment there - I got to give you that. Secondly, if - as you point out - there really only was "a one in a million chance", in other words, she had no reason to believe she wouldn't be coming back to her family incl. children, how can you blame her (and it feels to me like that's what you're doing) for "consciously" making her children orphans?
Well, in any case, thanks for sharing your view of things here. And no hard feelings - as I've said, we're probably both living in a free country (though I still don't know about you), so if you don't see it like I do, you have every right (not) to. For my own part, I still believe Christa McAuliffe's children have reason to be proud of her mother just as your grandchildren most likely have reason to be proud of their granddad. Have a nice weekend!

Anonymous said...'s me again and i hope you're having a nice day.
did not mean to be sarcastic re class vs type.
did not mean to infer that women belong in the home.
A working mother or a traveling sales person mother are common place now a days.
What is not common today is the mother of small children (or the father) going on the adventure that she went on.

I am NOT blaming her at point is she didn't have to do this (she already had a job as a teacher). She wanted to do this.
For my money, when you do something you want to do as opposed to something you feel you have to do, you are not a hero.

Some folks think sports stars or rock singers are heros. Some folks think actors or tv personalities are heros. I do not.
In addition to folks that risk or give their lives for others, I feel a man or woman that does the best they can to raise their children properly and always put their children's needs first are heros.

I could go on, but I won't.
Thanks for your opinions and had you not told me that you were not a native speaker of English, I would have thought that you were.