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Tim Russert

How does one change their memory of someone?

Plucked out of our lives, Tim Russert died an untimely death last Friday. Hopefully he didn't feel any pain when he died. He dropped dead of a heart attack. It is shocking when someone drops dead of a heart attack ... it is much more than shock that you feel when you lose someone like Tim Russert. He was more than a consummate journalist; he was the epitome of America in many people's minds, and that was what he brought to his interviews, that was who he represented, passionately, to those who would call themselves "representatives" of us Americans - politicians, namely.

I have been in a state of complete denial since he died. I've been avoiding the coverage, not because I don't want to hear about it ... I'm not really sure why. There's a part of me that refuses to accept that he is dead. I mean, it's not like I knew him. But he was truly unique, truly one of a kind, the kind of person whose contribution to society is so tremendous you can't put a price on him, the kind of person that today's America desperately, desperately needs ...

... and now he is gone. I miss him and I'm not even sure why. I never even watched Meet the Press on Sunday mornings, because I was always asleep! But whenever soundbites from MTP would show up in our news shows, whenever he'd make personal appearances on the nightly news shows to weigh in on what's happening in the political world, and especially for the big political news events like conventions and presidential elections, I paid attention to every word he said. I always knew if I ever got up on Sunday morning I would watch Meet the Press, because it's about the only thing worth watching ... any day of the week, for that matter.

So now I'm sitting here in the newsroom in America today, watching coverage of the man's funeral, a man who sure should have been alive for another 20 years at least (how many presidential elections is that?), perhaps longer ... I feel the loss keenly. It's hard to disguise my emotion. This is the day I've been in denial about for the past 5 days.

Now it's up to those of us who grew to love him so much, to carry on the legacy he set forth: to continue to stay true to our ideals and most importantly, to continue to question the ones who would call themselves our "leaders" ...

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