Our 450th celebration is about to kick off so I spent the day working on the site’s theme and planning content to share the fun. My immediate family may be “newcomers” to Florida’s Historic Coast, but we’ve got ancestors connected to this area from British Colonial days. Lots of stories yet to be told . . .
Not only is St. Augustine the nation’s oldest city – celebrating 450 years – we are at the top of the list of College Towns to Live in Forever according to College Ranker. In the middle of downtown St. Augustine, you’ll find Flagler College housed in the former Ponce de Leon Hotel. It’s not the only college in town. St. Johns River State College has a campus here too.
This article was originally posted on January 28, 2013.
Twenty-seven years [twenty-nine now] ago I sat at the window in my office enjoying the clear, crisp morning that would give us an unprecedented view of the Challenger launch more than 120 miles away. Normally clouds would limit our view. Even so, we would not see the shuttle itself, just the fire from the rockets and the huge vapor trail following it.
Since we seldom saw the sequence where the external tanks drop, we didn’t recognize the unusual attitude of the vapor trail as a problem. We had no television or radios in the office so we didn’t know anything was wrong until someone came by with the news. The TVs in our training room were quickly jerry-rigged with makeshift antennas to pull in the local news coverage of the disaster and we spent most of the remainder of the day in a state of shock.
What I remember most about that day is the vapor trail which seemed to hang there in the sky for hours (no, but it seemed that way) as testament to what had happened.
My fascination with space travel continues and I watched every shuttle launch I could until the program ended. I will always be in awe of the men and women who ride those amazing rockets into the unknown.
Today is not a day to mourn those who died serving our country. That is Memorial Day. Today we celebrate all of America’s veterans – especially living ones. Not every veteran went to war, but they all did their part to keep our country safe.
So, if you happen to see a veteran today, shake his hand, give her a hug and thank them for their service. It will make their day even more special.