By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor
The snow is falling, and the wind chill in New York is 15-degrees as I write this. It will be a bitterly cold night for the millions of people who will gather here in Manhattan to watch the ball drop. Any one of them can tell you what a rough year this has been. From rising unemployment to falling home and stock prices. When I consider the drumbeat of bad news we have had to report this year my head hurts. Yet this afternoon as I walked back to the newsroom against the tide of tourists and visitors heading into Times Square, I saw nothing but smiles, excitement and expectation on their faces, and I was reminded there is something powerfully reaffirming about looking forward. We'll do more than turn the page of a calendar at midnight. We will celebrate our resilience, and the hope of new beginnings.
On Nightly News tonight we will see how the world is bringing in the New Year, as well as look at the economy and the signs of recovery we will all be watching for in 2009. Also, Lee Cowan has put together a terrific spot that will remind us how lucky we are, and that may make us all look back on 2008 in a much more positive way.
I'll be in for Brian again tonight on Nightly News. I hope you'll join me, and I wish you a safe night and a Happy New year.