My Father and my grandfather were both heroes and an example of what a man should be. Most everyone that knew them believed them to be honorable and certainly someone that could be trusted. Losing my Father when he was only 42 and I was 19 had a profound affect on me. Who will be my example, who’ll teach me how to be that man I must become? Older men simply weren’t present in my life. I was in the military and everywhere I looked, there were young men like me. The drill Sargent was only a few years older than me and I certainly didn’t want to emulate him!
My Dad always watched the news and in our home, it was CBS with Walter Cronkite. His style was more like that of my Grandfather, steady, deliberate and straight in the eye. When men met my Grandfather, they instantly knew that he could be trusted and that he had wisdom. People always commented on it later after the encounter. Walter Cronkite was exactly that way. While growing up, Walter Cronkite was an example and a source and resource for me. Maybe I identified with him even more because we are both from Missouri.
When President Kennedy was assassinated, it was Walter Cronkite that broke that news to me and 29 of my classmates in a Civics class in high school. This was the first of many national and international events that would impact my life. The seeds of which would start with an announcement from Walter Cronkite.
It’s sad to see the passing of yet another icon in our lives. However, he will always be remembered because when someone teaches you something, you never forget it or them. He taught me a great deal. I can only hope that the way in which I’m living my life, reflects what I’ve learned from great men like Mr. Cronkite. So, “That’s the way it is.” He’s gone now at the age of 92. Here’s to a life well lived.
Like my Father and my Grandfather before him, he will always be missed . . . and remembered!