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The Space Shuttle Challenger speech
The Setting
The Space Shuttle Challenger speech by Ronald Reagan was given on January 8th, 1986, after the explosion that left the crew dead. Reagan wrote the address to console the families of the deceased and the entire nation that was morning. The United States was seen as a leader in space technology. Therefore, people were saddened by the sudden death of crew members. For example, President Reagan specifically mentioned the school children of the United States who gained inspiration from the space program. Reagan consoled them by noting that painful things happen in life, but that is not a reason to give up. He also pointed out that such unpleasant occurrences sometimes face the process of discovery and exploration. However, the people needed to be brave despite the loss and continue with the program. The speech also targeted the workers in NASA who he wanted to motivate in their work. Therefore the President desired his audience to be brave and keep working for the country.

The Speaker
Before attending the speech, I did some research about the speaker to determine whether he had credibility. The address did not provide an introduction to who the speaker was, forcing the audience to rely on research. In this case, the speech was given by the serving President in 1986, who was Ronal Reagan. Reagan was a famous person during and before he took office as the President of the United States. He worked as an actor radio, movie, and television actor before he became a politician. He had a successful career in acting and appeared in about 53 films in Hollywood. Being a national leader in the country, Reagan was qualified to speak about the fatal shuttle incident. The entire country was in shock and needed to be consoled. Reagan used his position as President and a film celebrity to ask people in the country to rise above the incident and continue working for the country. When the speaker started the speech, I knew he was the right man to talk about the issue. He establishes ethos excellently, ensuring that the audience trusts the message in the address.

The speaker gains the attention of the audience by greeting them and giving a preview of what he intends to address. In this case, he notes that he wanted to speak about the state of the nation, but the day’s events made him alter his plans. His opening statement emphasizes the seriousness of the issue, gaining the attention of the audience. The thesis of the speech is that the country had experienced a national loss. The statement gives an idea of the content of the entire speech. Therefore I believe that it was stated clearly and provides an excellent overview of the content of the address. The speaker tried to gain the attention of the audience by agreeing with their belief that the explosion represented a severe loss to the country. The audience, therefore, believes that the speaker represented their interests by speaking about what they felt. The main points in the speech were previewed by providing background information emphasizing why the loss was a severe issue.

The first main point in the speech was that the astronauts would be missed, and their loss was a massive blow for the country. The speaker supported the position by noting that the astronauts were passionate about discovering the truths of the universe through exploration. Secondly, the country still had a lot to be done in the space program. The narrator starts by documenting that the program had grown immensely for about 25 years, but that was not enough because they were still pioneers. Next, the author notes that the space program would continue despite the loss experienced. He stresses the point by noting that more shuttle flights would be launched to keep the dreams of the country alive. Supporting material provided by the narrator is, however, not adequate to support the main points. However, the speech made good use of the transition between the main points provided. The address expanded my knowledge of what happed to the space shuttle and its crew.

The summary provided is insufficient because it does not detail the main points in the speech. The speech concludes with an inspiration that notes that the crew would never be forgotten, and they were headed to God. The conclusion reassures the public that all will be well and that the dead were resting in peace.

The most influential aspects of the speaker’s delivery are using a lighthearted tone and maintaining relevance to the key issues. The weakest point of the delivery is that it places more emphasis on the loss to the Space industry that the family.

My overall impression of the speech is that it was well prepared and presented. Therefore I would rate it at 5.

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Space Shuttle Challenger Speech And Ronald Reagan. (June 1, 2020). Retrieved from