17 July, 2009
Walter Cronkite told America that President Kennedy was dead a year and a half before I was born, yet I still cannot watch that film footage without getting a massive lump in my throat. He was the consummate professional and he defined what it was to be a news anchor. Yet he set the standard so high that no single news anchor was ever quite able to live up to his standard (Chet Huntley and David Brinkley came close, but more as a news team than as individuals). I can only imagine how the deterioration of mainstream journalism left him disappointed, if not somewhat bitter.
Walter Cronkite narrated a great portion of my life, talking me, my family, and all of America through all of the most important events spanning nearly four decades. He inspired my interest in journalism: For a long time I wanted to be the Walter Cronkite of sports journalism. Because of Walter Cronkite I wanted to travel the world and tell its stories, yet he inspired me to tell stories right in my own back yard, as long as I told them with integrity and soul.
You have earned your rest, Mr. Cronkite. Thank you so very much for your steady voice and your inspiration.