An American news legend passed away last night:
(CBS) The "most trusted man in America" is gone.To be completely honest, I've never really felt a connection or even much of an affiliation with Cronkite. He was simply too far removed from me generationally. If my grandparents were alive today they'd probably have some heartfelt sentiments to share about the man and what he meant to their generation but for someone who's grown up engulfed in the cacophony of the 24-hour news cycle which has now been subsequently engulfed within the vast, global maw of the Internet old time newsmen like Cronkite are just very difficult to relate to for people from my generation.
Walter Cronkite, who personified television journalism for more than a generation as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News," has died. CBS vice president Linda Mason says Cronkite died at 7:42 p.m. Friday with his family by his side at his home in New York after a long illness. He was 92.
Known for his steady and straightforward delivery, his trim moustache, and his iconic sign-off line -"That’s the way it is" - Cronkite dominated the television news industry during one of the most volatile periods of American history. He broke the news of the Kennedy assassination, reported extensively on Vietnam and Civil Rights and Watergate, and seemed to be the very embodiment of TV journalism.
So you're probably now asking, "Why the 'RIP' post, JBW? Folks die all the time and you rarely take the time to honor them unless you seem to have had a real personal affinity for them." That's true, and even the traditionally ubiquitous "RIP" undermines my own atheistic beliefs. I don't really believe that Cronkite is "resting in peace", I just believe that he's dead and gone. I don't believe that he's singing in a cloud choir anymore than I believe that he's roasting in a lake of fire. He's simply deceased. But when he was alive he, a famous orator known for his pithy take on events of incredible historical significance, was rendered virtually speechless when mankind finally set foot upon another world beyond our own:
And that's why I'll always feel a kinship towards the man. Because I share that childlike awe that the human species was able to accomplish such an extraordinary feat, even though it happened half a decade before my own birth. When I watch a speechless Walter Cronkite remove his glasses and wipe his face in obvious wonder at the scientific achievements of mankind I share that same wonder, and I like to think that people like myself are keeping it alive now that he's passed on.