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Letters...we get letters

By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor

For everyone of these sent to the blog...

There's one of these:

I was thrilled to hear from a serviceman who was part of yesterday's ceremony at Arlington. Private Fritch, if you're still out there, please write back! Are you with the Old Guard? Was that not a breathtaking event at Arlington? Which of my friends, the Recipients, did you meet and escort? Private, please know I admire what you do for a living and thank you for your service. I thought it was notable yesterday that there were just three audible sounds recurring during yesterday's ceremony -- aircraft departing on a northern route from National Airport, the birds in the trees above us, and the click of the steel-plated heels of the soldiers guarding the tomb.

About the email that references G.E.: try as I might, I don't think I'll ever convince a skeptical audience that there is not some hot line (or for that matter, even a phone call) from our corporate offices in Connecticut into our newsroom, telling us what stories to cover and what stories not to cover. It's just not how it works. When a story includes anything related to G.E. (as is often the case, given their diversified businesses; as is the case today with a potential story involving CT- scans) we point it out on the air. We call their P.R. folks for statements and quotations as we call all those involved in stories we cover.

And a tip of the hat to David McCullough for tipping his hat to us. David was on Charlie Rose a few days back when he mentioned a great moment we witnessed together. I interviewed David after the release of his book 1776. We strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge on a sparkling day while cameras rolled. We happened upon a class of school children from New York, who'd been assigned to sketch their impressions of the bridge as they walked. What made it special was that the teachers and parents along on the trip...an obviously literate bunch...knew McCollough on sight: the fluffy white hair, that iconic voice. He signed the sketch of one lucky young man, and we moved on. During his discussion with Charlie about the teaching of history through physical examples, David remembered that encounter, and I'm grateful. I regard David David McCullough as a national treasure, and his collected works -- all of which I'm proud to say I've read -- as a lasting, towering chronicle of the American experience...beginning with his wonderful work on the Brooklyn Bridge itself, The Great Bridge.

We hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.