Southern Californians Wednesday expressed their sorrow at the loss of the seven crew members who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger through prayers, memorials and the rekindling of the Olympic torch atop Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In bold black letters, a large billboard across from City Hall in downtown Los Angeles read simply: "January 28, 1986" and listed the names of the Challenger's seven crew members.
In San Diego, a radio station, in conjunction with the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, will sponsor a candlelight walk Saturday in honor of the Challenger crew members.
The march will form at 6 p.m. at 6th Avenue and Laurel Street and proceed west on Laurel Street to the space theater. A commemorative program outside the theater will include comments by city and county representatives, a Marine Corps color guard and a Navy chaplain.
A $1,000 donation from FM/AM radio station KLZZ will be added to contributions by marchers to establish a scholarship fund for aeronautical engineering students. A local typography agency has donated a plaque recognizing the crew. It will be housed at the theater.
The theater resumed showing a 37-minute movie, "The Dream Is Alive," featuring footage shot during an earlier Challenger flight as well as pictures of Judith Resnik and Dick Scobee, both of whom were killed in Tuesday's tragedy. Showings of the film Tuesday had been cancelled. The film is now preceded by a message dedicating the movie to those who lost their lives.
Throughout Southern California, the birthplace of the Challenger, flags were flown at half staff at schools and government buildings, and church bells tolled as worshipers offered prayers in memory of the lost astronauts.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Science and Industry Friday will open an exhibit featuring Challenger astronaut Judith Resnik, who formerly worked for Xerox Corp. in El Segundo. Her fellow crew members, Ronald E. McNair and Gregory Jarvis, had worked for Hughes Aircraft.
While living in Los Angeles, McNair had been a member of Trinity Baptist Church, where a memorial service will be held in his honor Wednesday.
In Hermosa Beach, where Jarvis lived, the City Council began planning to establish a memorial fund in his name. And members of Los Angeles' Asian-American community, who recalled the participation of crew member Ellison S. Onizuka in Little Tokyo's 1985 Nisei Week Festival, spoke of similar plans.