In honor of the anniversary that fell yesterday, I watched Ronald Reagan’s address to the nation following the tragedy that befell the space shuttle Challenger.
I kept expecting him to point out that, if not for his Democrat predecessors (specifically John F. Kennedy, who demanded that we put a man on the moon), we would never have had a program in place that put men and women in such unnecessary danger. He never did. Instead, he praised those seven astronauts for their willingness to take individual risks that we as a nation might become greater.
I expected him to petition Congress to ban all future shuttle flights, that no other children grow up without a parent, that no other classrooms be robbed of an inspirational teacher like Christa McAuliffe.
Instead, President Reagan called for more shuttle flights. He even promised that more civilians and yes, more teachers, would be a part of these continuing missions.
I expected him to apologize to the schoolchildren who had witnessed the tragedy via live television feeds, promising them that he would do everything in his power to ensure that they would never have to see something so horrible again.
But rather than coddle the children with platitudes, he entrusted them with the truth. He told them that sometimes in the pursuit of greatness, great tragedy occurs. He promised transparency, and then he actually delivered it.
The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.