Cheryl Pace, of Tyler, was in bed the morning of the space shuttle Columbia disaster 10 years ago.
Ms. Pace said she really liked the whole space mission. “I felt like it was very important and I didn't like how some people who were against the space program used that (the shuttle disaster) as a means to say let's not do this anymore.”
Pausing at Tyler Square Mall, Brenda Fields, of Kerens, recalled, “We were at home and it was all over the news. We watched everything on the news.”
The seven astronauts losing their life made her sad, she said
“If you are going to send people that far up, you need to make sure everything is working like it's supposed to. I sometimes don't feel like that's what they do. I think they just assume it's in good shape and here they go,” Ms. Fields said
Wayne Mulford, of Tyler, said he was at home when the shuttle disaster happened and remembers seeing an announcement about it on television.
He also remembers a photographer took a now- famous photograph of part of the spacecraft falling from the sky.
It was a terrible tragedy for the astronauts on the space craft, Mulford said. “We didn't know any of those people so it wasn't a personal thing even though we felt for the people (astronauts) and their families,” he said.
Sherry Hensley was living in California at the time but now resides in Hide Away Lake.
She was probably golfing with friends when the shuttle disaster occurred, Ms. Hensley said. She remembers reading about the disaster in the news and heard about it from friends in the Dallas and Canton areas.
Ms. Hensley said she liked the space program, but added that people dying or something falling makes you think of the danger and is always very sad.
Nevertheless, Ms. Hensley said, the space program was “very interesting and I loved having it and exploring space.”
Darrell Robertson and his wife were sitting on their glassed in back porch in Carthage eating breakfast when the space shuttle crashed.
“It was so loud it shook the panes on the windows on our glassed in back porch. We didn't know what it was and later on it came on TV that the spacecraft had come apart and there were no survivors,” Robertson said.
“Some of the wreckage was found as close to us as Shelby County and a bunch of it came down in the Livingston area,” Robertson recalled.
“It was terrible. You have people (astronauts) that are doing things for the country. … It's a shame that their lives had to be taken away from them,” Robertson said.
Belinda Allen, of Alba, was living in Beaumont at the time.
“I thought it was very heartbreaking that it happened. I was torn up,” Ms. Allen said. “I didn't know any people (astronauts) like that, but it's a sad situation for the families and friends. Your heart goes out to them.”
She added, “It makes you wonder why things like that happen and why they (leaders of the space program) wouldn't be more prepared. I'm sure that they do the best they can.”
Marvin Johnson, of Tyler, said he remembers that several people lost their lives in the disaster. “I thought it was bad,” Johnson said, adding that the space shuttle debris coming down in East Texas made the loss more real to him.