Thoughts from Ground Zero

May 5, 2011 12:15:42 PM PDT
Did the President have to come to New York City and Ground Zero?

Absolutely not. Did the people he visited, police officers, firefighters, and families of the Sept. 11 terror attack victims appreciate it? You bet. Absolutely.

It's possible to see the President's visit for the patchwork quilt of what it was part warm and fuzzy and a genuine show of human kindness, part display of solidarity by a commander in chief with troops fighting around the world and domestic law enforcement on heightened alert, and part political victory lap.

It was all of those things. I'm often accused of being cynical and skeptical and jaded. Not sure if it's from the job, or if I gravitated toward this vocation because I was indeed all those things. But when it comes to Ground Zero, at least when I'm standing here my legs start flowing with jello, and I get a tad weak.

I think it's the shadow of death that walks in this little piece of lower Manhattan. It is, for me, impossible to escape it. I see and without sounding too mushy, feel, the shadow whenever I come here.

Oh, sure, the buildings are going up and they seem impressive, and the memorial and the two reflecting pools taking up about half the acreage down here are beautiful in construction and will be incredible in completion. But this is and I suspect for many New Yorkers always will be the place where the twin towers stood. The place where the twin towers were attacked. The place where the twin towers crumbled. The place where so many good and innocent people died. Fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives and lovers and best friends and colleagues and strangers.

My legs are jello.


Tonight at 11, we'll have complete coverage of President Obama's emotional visit here - his words to firefighters and police, and his visit with the victims' families. And, perhaps the moving part of this day, his placing of a wreath near the memorial. That tight camera shot of the President in deep thought, his eyes closed, was, for me, the most intense moment of the day.

We're also in Pakistan, where Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan has the latest on what's going to happen to the bin Laden compound (Pakistan wants to destroy it so it doesn't become a shrine to the Al Qaeda founder, but the U.S. Wants to inspect it with a fine tooth comb), and the latest on the tensions between the U.S. And Pakistan, and how they're both dealing with the assumption by many that bin Laden couldn't possibly have hidden and survived all these years without someone in the Pakistani government knowing or even helping.

Plus a closer look at an interesting trend among lactating mothers sharing breast milk? Say what?

We'll also have any other breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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