On 9/11, I was a young woman who stumbled into a career journalism standing in the middle of a chaotic newsroom. It was a controlled chaos that anchored by the guidance of the best and brightest in television. I learned about our responsibility to inform the community but also provide comfort. I wasn’t sure how we’d do it when we were worried about so many of our own colleagues. Somehow, we did. I thought those were the worst three days I’d ever experience in my life. Boy, I was wrong! But, I did learn through great tragedy you forge a lifelong bond with other people who understand your pain, confusion and loss and they will help you weather your challenges with compassion, faith and hope.
Last night, some of the people who were with me that faithful day in 2001 at Eyewitness News stood near me as we prepared to say goodbye to Diana Williams. Many of them had moved on to other stations but they came back. They returned just as you do when your family calls.
Diana is a family member to so many. I know she is to me. She has always praised me for trudging ahead despite my battled with an often debilitating autoimmune disease. She has said I’ve been a help, an inspiration and one of the strongest people she knows. I can say ditto. I know that I’m not alone. I heard the same sentiments at her party from people at our station and our competitors.
There were so many moving words about Diana. But one thing was missing. It was an Irish blessing her longtime co-anchor Bill Beutel used to recite often at farewell parties.
“May the road rise to meet you, and the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face. and the rains fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again.”
Diana, go climb those mountains and conquer each day with your family and dear friends. You know how precious time truly is and I have no doubt you will enjoy each minute. But, please know we will see each other again. And, what a glorious day that will be!
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