Space Shuttle Challenger Speech Analysis

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On January 28, 1986, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded within minutes of liftoff, killing all astronauts aboard. On this same night, President Ronald Reagan was originally scheduled to give the State of the Union, but instead had to speak on this national tragedy. The speech is titled, “Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, Address to the Union, January 28, 1986” and is given by President Ronald Reagan from his desk in the Oval Office. The intended audience of the speech given by President Reagan is all of the American People. Giving this speech, President Reagan had a saddened, grieving, and woeful tone. He opens by stating that instead of his State of the Union Address, he would be addressing the tragedy that…show more content…
Reagan tells us how he has always looked up to our space program and that he has faith in it, which coincides with his faith in the country as a whole. He tells us that we have no secrets, everything is out in public because that’s what freedom is. This speech has everything in it that an American citizen would want to hear after something like this happens. Our president and his family are sad, our country is sad, but that doesn’t stop America, we are strong, brave, courageous, always working toward the future. So much in fact that we are now speaking to the children about the future, telling them that in order to have a future they must be brave, the American way.
President Reagan appeals to several different emotions throughout the speech, he starts to wrap up the speech by telling a story, he tells a historical story of Sir Frances Drake and compares the astronauts that we have lost to him and his last exploration where he was killed doing the thing he loved. The speech is brought to a close with the biggest emotional appeal that Reagan uses all night, he uses a lingering tone when he recalls to the audience that the last time that we, or anyone ever saw these brave heroes was this morning, when they waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God.” This was the last thing that he said and really left the country with a sense of sadness and loss, but even though we were sad and grieving, we had the
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