Letters: Challenger Disaster; Pessimism Our coverage of the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster brought back memories for many of our listeners. Also, one listener asks: "Is NPR run by a bunch of pessimists?" Hosts Robert Siegel and Michele Norris read letters from our listeners.

Letters: Challenger Disaster; Pessimism

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Time now for your letters. And first, some reaction to our remembrance of the space shuttle Challenger. It exploded 25 years ago, on January 28, 1986.


In our story, we heard memories from people who watched it happen at the school where Christa McAuliffe taught. Physics teacher Jay Godfrey was one of them. He was sitting in an auditorium packed with students when the Challenger blew up.

Mr. JAY GODFREY (Physics Teacher): I said, well, I'm sure it's OK. But then there was a teacher named Robert(ph) is his first name, yelled shut up. He was sitting up in the balcony. And I go: Oh no.

SIEGEL: Well, our story brought memories from some of you as well. Chad Wheeler of Chicago writes this: I will never forget the sight of the booster rockets spinning wildly away, cleaving a thick, white Y in the sky so many miles above our heads, just as I will never forget the sacrifice those astronauts made for humanity as we slowly crawl out of our earth-bound bed towards our future, the stars.

NORRIS: And Thomas Blum of Rye Brook, New York, sent this: Thank you for providing a needed moment to reflect and grieve and even find closure so many years later.

SIEGEL: Finally, last Friday we received this question from Jeff Reynolds of Boise, Idaho.

NORRIS: Is NPR run by a bunch of pessimists? He continues: Today, during my 15-minute commute, I heard two stories, one on Ford's highest profits in 10 years and one on America's growing GDP. Good news, right? Not according to your reporters, who spent almost their entire time telling us all of the things that could go wrong with Ford and why the rising GDP doesn't mean the economy is back on track, lest a moment of sanguinity fill my car.

SIEGEL: And Mr. Reynolds concludes: P.S. Also covered during my drive: Why you should be afraid of Japan.

Well, Japan's economy doesn't frighten me nearly as much as the prospect of turning on NPR only to be bombarded with bad news, even on a good news day.

NORRIS: Well, thank you all for your feedback good and bad. You can write us at npr.org. Just click on contact us at the bottom of the page.

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