The family of Leiby Kletzky

July 14, 2011 8:00:09 PM PDT
We cover so many tragic stories - but the saddest, always, are the ones involving children.

The murder and dismemberment of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky has affected so many people. We in our newsroom are not immune to that.

I'm not immune to it.

I went to the Kletzky home in Borough Park this morning to visit the family.

I was honored that they welcomed me in. I was honored to pay my respects.

This is a family deep in mourning. 6 children, five of them girls. Leiby was their only son.

They are surrounded by an extended family - and surrounded as well, clearly, by a lot of love.

The family members I talked to want the world to know what a sweet and thoughtful little boy this was. They also want us to know that this tight knit Orthodox community rallied quickly to search for Leiby - thousands were out - combing the neighborhood grid more than 17 times. And finding the surveillance video that ultimately helped solve this crime.

I was also able to talk to Leiby's mother and father.

I told them that while their pain is theirs alone - we all share a bit of it. And by we, I mean millions - because this tragedy has affected the entire City.

And then his father offered this: He said he was proud to have been Leiby's father for nearly 9 years - and that if somehow his death is bringing so many people together - then what a great tribute to his boy.

I thought twice about going, but I was drawn there. And I'm glad I could express to Leiby's parents what so many other New Yorkers are feeling.


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