YOU WERE THE MAN, WALTER.
One of my earliest memories is of watching Walter Cronkite, on CBS.
I recall picking up a newspaper in front of our house, when I was only about 4-and-a-half-years-old(in 1962), and seeing a photograph of a beautiful blond lady on the front page. I asked my Mom who she was, and my mother said"A movie star. Marilyn Monroe." And we watched the news later, and I saw Walter Cronkite speak of her, and her mysterious death.
One year later, it was Walter Cronkite who I watched when I was sent home from kindergarten, and I cried again, when I saw him on the news, and he spoke about President John F. Kennedy having been assasinated.
And years later, when we had settled into the suburb of Apollo Beach, Florida my mother would sigh and my father would grip the arm-rests of his big easy-chair as Walter Cronkite delivered the numbers of those killed daily, in the "Vietnam Conflict". I remember asking how it could be that we always seemed to have fewer people die on "our side"; how odd it seemed that the "enemy" always seemed to die in larger numbers. Eventually, Walter Cronkite's disgust with the numbers he was handed, showed. And he stopped reading them.
It was Walter Cronkite who delivered news to us about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Bobby Kennedy.
I was thinking about Walter Cronkite just yesterday, because the anniversary of the Apollo 11 and the landing on the moon mission was yesterday: the 40th Anniversary.
I watched that July night, along with millions of people around the globe. Walter Cronkite anchored the news--and Walter and all of us stared at the fuzzy footage of the astronauts--- landing on the moon.
Afterwards, I walked outside our tiny home(we had moved to the woods--we lived on nearly 20 acres of land, and were surrounded by pine trees, and sandy hills) with my Dad, and looked up at the dark sky, and asked "So, that's where they are, Daddy? On the moon?" And my Dad said,"Lisa, I can't believe it; it's what we used to think was science-fiction; 'Flash Gordon'--comic-book-stuff. Yeah, that's where they are...It's amazing."
I remember saying prayers for the astronauts to be safe, because here had been accidents in the past, and Walter Cronkite had told us about those.....I even prayed for Walter Cronkite, because I wanted him to be healthy, to be happy, to be able to keep bringing us the news.
My parents gave me a wonderful little 45 rpm-record(for those of you who do not know, a "45" is a tiny vinyl record we played on turntables also known as stereos )called "Man On The Moon", which featured the entire broadcast, with Walter Cronkite.
They knew I loved science, the landing on the moon, and they knew I loved Cronkite.
Walter Cronkite was voted "Most Trusted Person in America" in many polls, year after year.
Here's to you, Walter.
Thank you for bringing the sad news--and the triumphant news-- of my childhood. And for doing so, with such eloquence.
RIP, Walter Cronkite.