Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"And that's the way it is."

Many of us grew up hearing those six words at the end of the CBS Evening News every night as Walter Cronkite signed off from his report from 1962 to 1981. Mr. Cronkite was laid to rest yesterday after passing away at the age of 92 late Friday night.

I remember him coming on every night during the height of the Vietnam War and giving us the body count for the day. He would tell us how many North Vietnamese we killed and how many American soldiers were killed that day. It gave us a sense we were winning because we were killing more of them than they were killing Americans.

He was a journalist and television anchor for close to fifty years who became, (according to many polls) "the most trusted man in America." He reported many events including bombings during World War II, the Nuremberg Trials, combat in the Vietnam War, JFK's assassination, the moon landing, Watergate and the Iran Hostage Crisis, to name just a few. He was in our living rooms talking to us. We trusted him.

The one event I will always remember was watching him come close to breaking down as he put his glasses back on while he reported the death of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. This is a very short snippet of that report.

Here it is:

Do you remember where you were when you heard him utter those words? If you are old enough, I'm guessing you do. I remember him being a rock as he covered the next several days. Now, he's gone too. Rest in Peace, Mister Cronkite.

I welcome your comments.




Anonymous said...

I really think it was Walter's voice. He soothed the country during times of upheaval and made everyone feel that everything would be OK. Our house exclusively watched Walter. My Dad and I used to imitate his voice. A true icon.


Bruce Adams said...

I remember where I was when this occurred I was working at a gas station, changing oil on a customers car when the announcement came over the radio that JFK had been killed. Everyone in the station stopped, stood still for several minutes until someone said "what do we do now?" What do we do? I saw Walter C on the TV later and could see it had the same affect on him.

Rick Jauert said...

As I said...the whole moon schmoon landing was filmed in Uncle Walter's basement...he was the original Wayne's World...except of course it was Walter's World and didn't have Madonna or donkeys flying up her butt. I think it is an incredible idea for you to write a book. People tell me all the time that I should with all my political experience...from farm boy from Luverne to D.C. and the Presidents...I can write...but I can't get started...and wouldn't know where to begin. I love the title too. I can see bestseller already. Remember, details make a story compelling...every last minute detail. Do you remember how we met? I was the Student Council President in Luverne and we raised $1,000 for your rehab. I presented the check to you at half-time of a Worthington/Luverne basketball game...all your good comrades started yelling who's the hippie! You were great; I was a mess! Then I met you several times with Brakke...our Republican boy who forgot from whence he came --- poetic though that at least two of his kids are traveling liberals like me! Don't know if this will work since I'm tech challenged. Let me know. I'll write more but I had a helluva day today and am exhausted. Ciao! Rick

I'm Not Done Yet said...


I remember the night of the basketball game, but frankly, I was focusing on the check and not on who was giving it to me! :-)

You are correct about Brakke. I've come to be good FB friends with Crystal. I think they all got a charge out of our comments on the dancin' picture!

Thanks for your comment. Please feel free to comment freely on future posts.

Thanks too to Ruona and Bruce for your comments! I also used to imitate him. Poorly, but I had fun.

Ann said...

I was in Sister Caroline's 5th Grade taking a math test when Kennedy was shot We heard all the announcements over the PA and I don't think it was Walter Cronkite I think it was John Chancellor or someone like that. It was a horrible -horrible day. Walter Cronkite had such an impact on our lives. He not only guided us through Kennedy's assasination, he also guided us through the violence and changes of the civil rights movement, the Mercury and Appollo space missions, Vietnam, Watergate, the assasinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. He was a steady presence in a tumultuous and changing world. There is no comparison in today's anchors and journalist. So, raise a glass of scotch: Mr. Cronkite.
- - and that's the way it is - - cue music, fade out.