Lancaster County couple recalls being in Florida when the Challenger exploded

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MILLERSVILLE, Pa. - January 28, 1986 Greg Miller was on his way to Orlando. He was listened to the Challenger launch on the radio. Along with many others, he pulled to the side of a four lane highway to look up and watch the launch. Within 73 seconds, the Challenger exploded.

"Everyone just stares because you didn't want to believe it and you couldn't believe it," said Miller.

Since Christa McAuliffe, who was to be the first teacher in space, was on the Challenger about 17 percent of Americans watched the launch. Within an hour of the tragedy a survey shows nearly 85 percent of Americans knew what had happened.

Miller's wife, Hilari Hinnant, was a kindergarten teacher at the time,  she and her students did not witness the explosion.

"All of us have our angel wings sometimes and I think those 7 certainly did," she said.

She was inspired to write a poem about the tragedy. During the one year anniversary it was read on CBS. Thirty years later it holds the same meaning.

The Challenge is Yours

Take a sunbeam turn it into a smile.

Take a star turn it into an idea.

Take a hand turn it into hope,

just dare to dream.

Take a drop of water create a river.

Take a rainbow create a friend.

Take a stream create a belief,

just dare to dream.

Explore, work and play

do it everyday,

Look for a way,

to give the future a say,

just dare to dream.

Schools are for growing

for learning

for experimenting,

Stars are for wishes

but minds are for dreams

so... just dare to dream.

Seven wishful thinkers

waited on that day,

just to pass away.

But their dreams can live on with you,

You are their hope

you are their challenge

just dare to dream.

Hinnant even created the logo for The Challenger 7 Elementary School and her poem is still in the archives there.