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America will bounce back from this tragic event in history

By By Lindsey Sherrill
Staff Writer
In recent times it seems our country has been met with blow after blow of problems that have brought us to our knees both politically and emotionally.
There have been political scandals ranging from extramarital affairs in the White House to turmoil over "chads" and vote counting. We have been attacked by terrorists, our stock market has plunged, and we stand on the brink of war. And now yet another blow has come.
Saturday morning was like any other morning in east Texas until the tragedy overhead turned all eyes in that direction. Not again was my first thought as I heard the news of the Space Shuttle's destruction, and I'm sure the sentiment was shared by thousands of others as they watched or listened to the reports.
That morning, just four days after the 17th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, we were seeing once again the horror of death in the skies. I was only a year old at the time of the Challenger disaster, but I have heard all my life of the tragedy and what a sorrow it was to our nation.
Somehow astronauts seem to have a personal grip on people. Perhaps it is because they embody mankind's desire to fly and to reach the heavens.
Whatever the case may be, such a tragedy seems to touch Americans (and the world) in a very tender place. One must wonder why such a disaster has again occurred. Why has our country been wounded again? Why do all these problems occur, so close together, to our great nation? How can a presidency and a people endure without loosing spirit?
Yet perhaps in such questions are the very answers. The "whys" of all the turmoil are unanswerable, but the fact that good has come of them is clear.
With every tragedy the American people have drawn closer. Our unity and patriotism have surged in the aftermath of pain and we have seen a diverse country come together as a whole. Maybe that is a reason for the many disasters.
We as citizens needed something as catastrophic as a 9-11 or a looming war to drive us from our petty internal strife.
America has come together time and again and it is almost assured that such a thing will happen again after this latest tragedy. As Columbia broke apart and broke so many hearts, perhaps it bonded so many more.
Lindsey Sherrill is a staff writer for The Atmore Advance. Her column appears on Wednesdays.