Professor Aaron Clark
29 May 2019
Essay 1 Final Draft
On January 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan spoke about a tragic incident that had taken place on the same day in his nationally broadcasted speech “Challenger Address” from the Oval Office at the White House. He addressed the destruction of the NASA space shuttle Challenger that exploded just after takeoff and claimed the lives of all seven astronauts on who were on board that unfortunate day. Reagan uses pathos to appeal to his audience’s values and emotions in order to achieve his purpose: to honor the Challenger crew, to remember their contributions and to remind us that we need to continue to be hopeful about the future of our nation’s space program and its scientific explorations.
To begin with, Reagan presents his audience with the incident of where our nation lost the crew of the Challenger space shuttle in flight and personally names each person in his speech. In response to this incident, he acknowledges the courage and bravery of the seven crew members and provides his audience with brief descriptions of their faithful service. For instance, Reagan describes the crew as a group of individuals who were courageous and passionate about discovering the unknown. He then comforts the families of the astronauts during this time of grief and assures them that the entire nation is also mourning the loss of these seven heroes. For his second claim, Reagan addresses the pain and confusion that children may have had in response to this incident and informs them that this unfortunate incident was a part of the process to explore and discover the parts of our universe that have not been explored. He questions whether our nation has become used to the idea of space exploration due to the 25-year experience of our country’s space program and reminds us that we still have a long way to go. He also reassures his audience that our space program will remain truthful to the public and promises them that our journeys will continue. He ends his speech by comparing the Challenger crew to the great explorer Sir Francis Drake and promises his audience that our nation will never forget these honorable people and their complete dedication to their mission.
President Ronald Reagan appeals to pathos in his speech by evoking feelings of sympathy, pride and hope in his listeners in order to honor the seven NASA astronauts and emphasize the need for our country to continue its exploration of space. He starts off by appealing to a common sympathy when he states that, “Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." By including this, he is able to stir up emotions of pity and sympathy in his audience when he describes the fearlessness and valiance of the Challenger crew who lost their lives in the explosion. Reagan’s inclusion of the phrase “your loved ones” reminds us that...