Friday, July 17, 2009

A Goodbye to Walter Cronkite

My first job out of college here in Manhattan was a CBS Page. After bouncing around various shows for a few weeks and a little maneuvering, I was put into the CBS newsroom. There I assisted where I could and watched Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer put together the nightly newscast.

On the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I was in the newsroom. It was a marathon day. 20 hours. People were running ragged, chugging coffee, barely holding it together. Late in the afternoon, the bustling newsroom got quiet. In succession, one by one, people stopped working. Then they stood up. Walter Cronkite had walked into the room. Slowly. Cronkite waved his hand and smiled warmly. Then disappeared into the hallway. Why did everyone stand? Why did we all pause on the busiest news day of the year?

Out of respect. Respect for the greatest newsman there ever was. That's the way it is, friends.

Walter Cronkite passed away today at the age of 92.

While his most famous broadcast is probably announcing the death of President Kennedy, it's Cronkite bringing America sights and sounds of the moon landing in 1969 that is his most endearing moment.

Goodnight Uncle Walter. Sleep warm. And thank you...

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