Sunday, February 2, 2003

Disaster evokes Challenger image
at Wright-Pat



By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The TV image of the Shuttle Columbia reduced to trails of smoke evoked an image Stacey Evans witnessed in person 17 years ago.

As she and classmates stood outside Kings Highway Elementary School in Clearwater, Fla., in 1986, they looked into the clear blue sky and saw Challenger's disastrous takeoff.

"We were all crying... They rushed us back inside the school real quick after it happened, then they let us go home early because everyone was so upset,'' Evans said Saturday as she stood with her two children outside the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.

"It's hard seeing this happen again. It brings it all back... I'm thinking about those people's families.''

Evans, 27, who lives in Fairborn, was among an estimated 2,500 people at the museum Saturday. It is celebrating the 100th anniversary of powered flight this year. It remained open for business in the wake of Saturday's tragedy.

A large American flag out front billowed in the chilly wind at half-staff.




(Complete Columbia coverage at Cincinnati.com)

ENQUIRER COVERAGE
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Enquirer seeking local connections
Disaster evokes Challenger image at Wright-Pat
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VIDEO
Archived video & special coverage from WCPO


NATIONAL COVERAGE
Did NASA underestimate left-wing damage?
Body parts reportedly found
Columbia, crew of 7 lost
Families' pride turns to anguish
Texans saw trails in sky, heard booms
Final words: Astronauts gave no warning of disaster
Americans gasp, cry at news
Americans have taken space flights for granted
Bush consoles shuttle families, country
Text of Bush's remarks
Terrorism ruled out
Crew biographies: First Israeli aboard
Independent board to investigate
Landings were early safety concern
Challenger explosion recalled
Painful memories for teacher's hometown
Deadly accidents in space exploration
Former astronauts search for explanation
Space station crew won't be stranded
Timeline of Columbia flight
Columbia was NASA's oldest shuttle
Key dates in space program
New NASA administrator faces big task