This past Friday was the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I've read multiple posts commemorating and remembering, many remembering where they were and how they felt that day.
I was five years old and in kindergarten. I remember sitting in the school library with the rest of the elementary school, watching the countdown and take-off. I can't say I actually remember the explosion, I think my five-year-old self just thought the flames and smoke and loudness that happened with take-off just extended into the explosion. Flames and smoke are flames and smoke so I didn't know anything was wrong.
That is, I didn't know anything was wrong until our very tall, kinda domineering principal, Mr. Knight, started yelling at everyone to "Just be quiet", that this "Wasn't how we are supposed to act" and if we were going to act that way, "Teachers just need to take the students back to the classroom now." I still don't know that I realized anything had gone wrong on TV, I just thought the principal was a hard-ass.
I don't have anything significant to contribute to everyone else's memories about that day. I just think it speaks to how resilient kids are and how their minds work.