I just caught a headline, "Walter Cronkite, Dead at 92" and had to pause for a moment to remember the man most, if not all, journalists looked up to as a guiding light in their career. Cronkite, the most trusted man in America, was a lion of the profession and worked in print, radio and, most recognizably, at CBS News.
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.
When the man said, "And that's the way it is," we knew it was true. Cronkite was from the old school. He treated reporting as a sacred trust between himself and the public. I think America and the world would be a better place if more newsmen acted this way. Governments and corporations and the man on the street might be a little less apt to take advantage of their fellow citizens if they knew there were more like Cronkite watching.
I once had the chance to hear him speak at the memorial service of another legendary newsman, Charles Kuralt, who died July 4, 1997. But, unfortunately, there was bad weather on Martha's Vineyard and Cronkite wasn't able to make it to his friend's service. And, while I can't regret it because I had no control over the event, I consider this a missed opportunity.
Here are the words he used to close his last broadcast as anchor of the CBS Evening News and, I think, they are just as fitting now as we say a final farewell.