Jan 28, 1986. I was, I believe, in French class. I didn't understand the weight of the tragedy. This time I do. I am deeply sorry for those who were lost and for their loved ones. Many people far more learned than I have been talking about how this may endanger the space program, I leave the defense of what I view as our most important research organization to those more knowledgable than myself. There have been mentions of the push to privatize the space program as having had a severe negative impact on safety and security, and that was cited by many NASA employees as a significant contributer in 1986 as well. If privatization is having any negative impact of any sort on the space program it must stop immediately. Turning over public interest programs to for profit institutions will always lead to destruction of the public interest.
Many of the more militant atheists/agnostics/etc I've encountered are going ballistic when anyone says anything about praying for the lost and their loved ones. This is absurd. A gesture made to alleviate the suffering of those who've just lost a loved one is always appropriate.