By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
I've heard the word "cornerstone" more than once today. It has been used to describe Tim Russert's role in our lives and our organization.
We are back from Afghanistan, by way of a long and circuitous route. I kept saying on the journey back that I just wanted to get home -- to my family, to my work family and to this newsroom.
Tomorrow I will go where we are all perhaps most needed: to visit our friends in the Washington bureau. These are dark days indeed. We have suffered a terrible blow, a colossal loss, and it's still so very fresh.
I hope you all got to see Meet the Press. I hope you all get to see what Luke Russert said on Today this morning. And how he said it. All you need to know about Tim and his wife Maureen as parents was on display this morning in the demeanor and command displayed by that terrific young man.
Our broadcast will originate from Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Please forgive us if we are so much as one notch under perfect this week, as we are struggling to do our jobs, cover stories, do the writing and producing and get it all on the air -- while missing and mourning our North Star.
Over time, we will also broadcast the work we were planning to air from Afghanistan. Tonight we'll air the interview with the American four-star commander. On this coming Friday night, we'll air the story I'd planned on airing last Friday night. In fact, I was in the middle of writing it when the phone call came from New York that Tim had collapsed in Washington. It's still in my computer, half-written, just sitting there. The time stamp on it represents the moment time stood still for all of us, as the wave of bad news crashed down upon us--from Washington to New York to Bagram Air Field.
Thank you, all of you, for the outpouring of support and condolences. We are obviously single-minded in our support for Tim's family members -- that, right now, is our only concern. We'll be alright -- the sun will come up tomorrow -- but we'll be without the man who cast such a formidable shadow around here, as a beloved figure in this organization.