Firefighters all across this country paused today upon hearing that nine firefighters had died in a tragic fire in Charleston, S.C. It's our lead story tonight. It is the largest single loss of firefighters since Sept. 11, and should get the attention of every American. As the local Chief put it today: flames robbed their department of 100 years of firefighting experience.
Jim Maceda will chronicle the good news/bad news of the "surge" in Iraq, Robert Bazell has an excellent follow-up to his own reporting on some of the wounded veterans from this war, and we'll continue our Texas-themed coverage this week with a hugely controversial construction project through that region of the country.
Andrea Mitchell will look at Hillary Clinton's pursuit of the women's vote, and Mark Potter will have our favorite story of the day out of the Vatican.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
After we get off the air tonight, I will head over to the West Side of Manhattan to tape a segment with Jon Stewart for tonight's Daily Show. After that, I head to an airport motel so I can board a flight at dawn from New York to El Paso, Texas (I think we have to stop at nine different cities in North America to make connections en route), where we will originate the broadcast tomorrow night. There are few places in this country that are more emblematic of the immigration debate: we will be able to open the broadcast in the United States, and literally walk into Mexico while we're on the air. From El Paso, it will be on to Dallas for our Thursday night broadcast, and then back home. We have a week's worth of stories from Texas to go along with our road trip.
I learned in one of the industry trades last night that David Chase, it is said, first submitted a final episode to HBO that called for three minutes of blackness at the end of the episode. HBO management wisely rejected the idea, fearing all 12 million viewers would call them -- or someone -- to report a cable outage.
The Hillary Clinton Soprano's video is certainly making its way around the Internet. Points for pluck and interesting casting, according to most of those who have seen it.
SAMMY, AKA FORREST
Take a moment to read today's Medal of Honor biography. Sammy Davis is a good friend and a wonderful man -- one of the great patriots I know. He's best known (we profiled him during our recent broadcast from outside Charleston) to American movie audiences as the real-life model for the Tom Hanks film character Forrest Gump. Amazing things really do happen in battle, often to seemingly ordinary men. Sammy is an extraordinary guy, as are all 110 living recipients.
We hope you can join us for Nightly News from New York tonight. We'll look for you tomorrow night from El Paso, Texas.