Best Of The Best

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Death is a high price to pay

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Collier and Isaac, my two little nephews, have outgrown their room. They have been sharing a sweet yellow room, with Isaac sleeping in a small twin bed decorated with trains, and Collier still in his baby bed.
Stuffed animals dotted the room and were piled atop their pale green chest of drawers. A diaper bin was in the corner.
Those days are gone. Their parents are redecorating their room, adding bunk beds and painting the room with a space theme.
The walls are blue. The wallpaper border has planets and stars and the door was going to be decorated with a painted space shuttle.
Those plans changed Saturday.
I was sitting in a hotel lobby Saturday morning when I saw the news alert come on CNN.
"Contact is lost with the space shuttle," the news announcer said.
The announcer was calm and didn't act like much was wrong. I kept watching the television.
Gradually, the mood grew more somber.
Lost contact.
Problem suspected.
Disaster.
Shuttle destroyed.
Seven lives lost.
12 children left behind.
America is left reeling from another tragedy.
In 1986, I was sitting in a high school geometry class when we learned the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up. I remember the feelings – we were confused, shocked and scared.
My mother compared it to the day John F. Kennedy died. It seems each generation has its own tragedy.
This generation has had far too many.
My brother and sister-in-law are continuing the space theme in the boys' room. They live in Huntsville, in the shadow of the Apollo rocket and the Space Center.
Isaac, the oldest, has an astronaut costume he loves. His 2-year-old brother, Collier, wears a football helmet on his head so he, too, can be an astronaut.
Little children and their fascination with space…
Part of me wants to stop this fascination, tell them to keep their feet on the ground. Another part knows that children all over this country have been fascinated by our country's space exploration, even if there is a high price to be paid.
Isaac and Collier see space as a magical, safe place.
I'm sure the 12 children of the astronauts who died Saturday were fascinated by the heavens, too.
Death is a high price to pay but throughout history, great explorers have been willing to make that sacrifice.
It's that dream that will live on for their children and ours.

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