I was around, but too young to realize what was going on. I knew about rockets and spacemen. I never really learned about Grissom, White, and Chafee until 3 years later when I started reading (and had learned to read) everything I could get my hands on about Apollo 8.
These men and others blazed the trail with their blood. It will be sad if we as a nation or race do not continue to follow the path.