The circle of life

June 4, 2009 2:04:18 PM PDT
If there's a constant, it's the circle of life. And it doesn't take long for most of us to realize that. It's usually an up close and personal thing. But, especially with a 24/7 news cycle and the proliferation of news anywhere and everywhere you turn, we sometimes experience others' deaths communally. Certainly the terror attacks on Sept. 11.

And, this week, certainly the Air France crash, where 228 people on board a plane from Rio to Paris suddenly plummeted into the Atlantic.

As for the up-close rings in the circle, there were memorials for two friends this week--Bob Lange was a senior producer at 20/20 and Jack Reilly was an industry giant and my first executive producer at Good Morning America.

Both were smart, quiet and quietly smart. Both leave behind families that are in shock and mourning. They cried, and then laughed through the tears at the services, as friends and colleagues recounted each of their exploits, and what they meant to the people who worked with them.

Cried in the same way as the family of Omar Edwards cried today, as they buried the young New York police officer, the victim of a horrible and controversial friendly-fire incident in East Harlem last week. We've seen his family this week -- his father-in-law is also in the NYPD -- as they navigate the painful shoals of mourning. We've seen them cry and laugh and make music, with his father-in-law's jazz band.

And tonight, we see the grief in the extended family of David Carradine, the 72-year-old actor who as a younger man became a cultural icon as "grasshopper," the disciplined disciple of a Kung Fu master on a hit TV series. His acting family is rich in talent over several generations, from his father John, to his brothers Keith and Robert, and his niece, Martha Plimpton.

Carradine's body was found today - hanging, perhaps from several places - in a hotel in Bangkok, where he was shooting a film. His death, insists his spokesperson, was accidental.

The circle of life, is what Master Po would have said to Caine.

We'll have the latest on today's components of the circle, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we'll have a preview of President Obama's visit tomorrow to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, as well as reaction to his speech today about Muslim-U.S. relations today in Cairo.

We're also looking at Ticketmaster's new attempt to stop scalpers from gobbling up concert tickets before the general public has a shot at buying them. The new plan calls for ticket buyers to bring the credit card they used to buy the tickets, and a photo ID, just to get in. We'll see if it works - these scalpers are fairly cunning.

And we'll have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, after Game One of the NBA Finals.

BILL RITTER


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