WATCH: Eyewitness News anchor Diana Williams' final message to viewers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Broadcast legend Diana Williams anchored her final newscast Thursday, sending viewers and the Eyewitness News team a "see you later" instead of a "farewell."

Diana is retiring following 29 years here at WABC-TV.

Diana, an award-winning reporter and anchor for WABC-TV's top-rated Eyewitness News at 5:00, joined the Eyewitness News Team in 1991.

Before that, she worked at WNEV-TV in Boston and started her career at WBTV-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina -- a career spanning 40 years in broadcasting.

Before the cameras faded at the end of the newscast, family, friends and colleagues gathered around Diana's anchor desk and cheered, celebrating a New York City legend.

She looked into the camera and delivered this message of gratitude:

We have a few invited guests here in the studio. Thanks for being here. It's been an amazing ride, starting forty years ago.

I began reporting in 1979 at a TV station in Durham, North Carolina when I was a senior in college and knew right then i had found my career and my passion.

Three TV stations later, i landed in New York, and I knew this was where I was meant to be, a station with great energy, great talent -- and reporting -- and a history grounded in diversity and community.

I was a working mom with a wonderful husband, and then five years ago, my husband got his diagnosis, as you saw, and my son had an accident that left him with a severe brain injury.

My colleagues, and many of you via social media with your prayers and kind messages, got me though the toughest time of my life, and I will be forever grateful for that

Over the past few years, watching my son heal and my husband fight though his illness, has fed my soul. They have been heroic, never letting what life has dealt them get them down, and I will continue to share their progress on social media with the hope that their stories can inspire others.

But their journey also made me re-imagine mine, and know that it was time to move on.

My colleagues will still be here to report the news fairly and accurately. They know the most important thing is to get it right, that details matter and as I often say, words matter. Choose the right one. I also won't be bugging them about what the lead should be.

Learning is a big part of what motivates me, and what I've learned over these past few years is that time is limited, family is precious, and the connections we make with people and our communities are invaluable.

Many of my family and friends are here on this last night and as I head down a new path, I'm reminded of that old children's song: "make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold."

You are all gold to me.

Thank you for allowing me into your homes all these years, and God bless!

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