Tragedy Through a Child's Eyes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/4/03

Tragedy Through a Child's Eyes

"The day that John F. Kennedy was shot -- I remember that. The man on the moon -- I remember that," says Cooper Intermediate teacher, Jane Graham.

Graham recalls a number of tragic events. She remembers all the questions her son had when the Challenger exploded in 1986. 17 years later: "What have we learned because of this tragedy?" she asks. A second space shuttle disaster brings up similar questions.

"Why did the ship blow up, and why they didn't make it back?" asks one student.

"I was wondering when they think they're gonna send up another shuttle," says another.

"The questions about if they could have parachuted out? Could someone have gone up and helped them," Graham says.

Graham also says that children are naturally curious but with open and honest discussion, she hopes to ease their anxiety and their fears.

"I just thought, what if it was my dad or my mom?" says one fifth grader.

"I was scared because I thought it was gonna hurt a lot of people whenever it crashed," says another student.

But after all the questions comes reality.

Students say, "If they were really willing to risk their lives, then they were pretty important people."

"I think they were really brave, and they went up to try and do something for our community," says another student.

A mission that ended in tragedy, but one carried out by seven heroes with such bravery and conviction. Their legacy and inspiration will continue.

"I just want to be an astronaut, so I can be a hero for other people."

Here are some tips for parents to help children cope with the tragedy. If you haven't already, you should talk to your kids about what happened. It's important to listen to what they say carefully, and be open and honest.

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