I was in class today, teaching some really depressing stories by Flannery O'Conner. The first I heard of the shuttle explosion was when I finally got out of class, about 15 minutes late, and called my husband to tell him I was on my way home. He said, “Have you heard?” I thought, “Heard what?” It had to be something bad. I thought maybe our friend Amy's preemie baby hadn't made it, but how would I have heard that. I knew it wasn't anything about the kids or my family. He'd have been up at the school to tell me.
He told me about the explosion. Said my brother had called to make sure we knew, which my hubby did because he gets email updates from the local news channel and he's ALWAYS on line, so he knew.
Flags, which had been taken down, were flying again in our neighborhood. All the flags were at half mast at the businesses. (Although someone should tell Jack-in-the-Box that you're supposed to lower BOTH flags, not just Old Glory.)
The stop and go coffee shop had a statement up on its sign that said, “We are praying for you, Columbia.”
The road signs said “If you find shuttle debris, call the police.” Like I would recognize shuttle debris from trash that the roofers left when they re-did our roof. Unless there were a lot of it. But we weren't in the path of the majority of the stuff.
I was amazed at the rapidity with which people were publicly mourning.
I am dismayed that this is what our generation has had to learn, how to mourn in public. Other generations learned it other ways. (WWII was different color stars in the windows for loved ones gone or dead. Victorians wore black.)
Though I am sad that we now know how to show our mourning and dismayed by the shuttle explosion, I feel comforted by the signs of national mourning. I know that I am not alone in my pain and sorrow.