That seemed to be the sub-theme of our afternoon editorial meeting, in light of the assassination in Lebanon and the talks this coming weekend between three powers in the Middle East... not including the United States. Richard Engel and Andrea Mitchell will team up to tell this story for us. The story of the Muslim imams and the US Airways commercial jet (which I note stirred so much comment following Pete Williams' posting here) will be covered by him tonight. Also on the topic of aviation, we'll air our previously-planned piece on the skyrocketing number of lost bags in this era of "restricted liquids" allowed on planes. Also tonight, we continue our series called "What Works."
There has also been an incident involving the President's motorcade in Hawaii -- sadly, these are more common than people might think. I recall a similar incident in a motorcade I was in, back when I covered President Clinton. For the local police and volunteer motorcade drivers, it's always a jittery assignment to drive anywhere near the President -- and there are special risks to members of law enforcement when tensions are high and drivers get spooked. The early tape pictures show a motorcycle officer down. Also, a fourth student has died from the bus accident in Alabama, when the vehicle plunged off the highway ramp. What a horrible story -- our hearts go out to those families.
REMEMBERING A GREAT MAN
Long after this day is over, the faint sounds of Wynton Marsalis' trumpet will be heard in New York's Riverside Church. So will the words of Aaron Neville and Irma Thomas, who along with friends and colleagues today remembered Ed Bradley. In addition to our memories, those of us who were lucky enough to attend will always have the handkerchief that was handed out to all those who gathered -- as the Rev. Dr. James Forbes put it, not JUST to wipe away the tears, but to help drive Ed's spirit up to heaven -- part of the tradition of the "second line" in the city Ed loved, New Orleans. Today we all became a part of Ed's second line. What a privilege, albeit a sad one, to have attended. It was an assemblage of extraordinary people, great memories and wrenching emotions, capped off by the image of Rooney and Cronkite walking down the side aisle together afterward. Two World War II era soldiers who today buried a much younger man who was every inch a fellow soldier. What a life Ed lived. What a beloved figure he was. So many of us are better for having lived in the time of Ed Bradley.
At the conclusion of the service, we learned that another American icon had passed from the scene: the legendary film director Robert Altman. So, because I have just sat down at my desk to begin writing a lengthy remembrance of him, that will have to be all for today.
We hope you can join us for our Tuesday night broadcast.