The symbol of our country, the majestic bald eagle. (Jeff Jacobsen)

Challenger soaring before the Kansas vs. Oklahoma football game. (Laura Jacobsen)

During the National Anthem before Saturday’s Kansas and Oklahoma football game, the bald eagle, Challenger, flew from a release point in the north bowl to his handler standing on the south 20-yard line. Named after the ill-fated space shuttle flight and crew, Challenger is a non-releasable eagle. Rescued at five weeks and raised by the American Eagle Foundation, Challenger now serves as a free-flying ambassador for the majesty of this awesome bird. Following Challenger as he soared in a series of inspiring large circles on the flight to his handler, the bird’s size, beauty, grace, strength and resilience amazed us. It is no wonder that our founders chose the bald eagle as our national bird and the symbol of our country. Like the eagle, the United States is a country of size, beauty, grace, strength and – above all else – resilience. God bless them both.

Challenger and his handler. (Jeff Jacobsen)


About jeffjacobsen

Thank you for reading my blog, Here I Stand. You can read all about me, my wife and my family on the Family page. God bless and keep you.
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4 Responses to Challenger

  1. Yes – these are incrediable animals. I am very lucky, I get to see these in the wild of West Virginia and parts of Northern Virginia (the first time I had to pull over a rub my eyes having never seen one in the wild). Nice photos Laura.

  2. Great shots of a beautiful bird. I bet that was something to see.

  3. Julia says:

    Hi! My name is Julia and I am one of Challenger’s caretakers! Was trying to find a contact email for you but can’t seem to locate one. Would you email me at Would love to see if we could feature some of your photos of Challenger on our Facebook page…they’re beautiful! Thanks.

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