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Remembering Russert: Memorial Service

Live updates of the Tim Russert memorial service:

• Brokaw closes: “Thank you for being here today. We must always keep Tim not just only in our hearts, but in our lives as well, and try every day to be better citizens. Thank you all very much for being here.”

• CNN picks up the memorial feed while Springsteen plays.

• “We want to send this out to Tim. Luke, this is for your pop,” says Springsteen, before beginning an acoustic version of Thunder Road.

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• Brokaw and Luke introduce a “special guest” — Bruce Springsteen live from on tour. “We were always flattered and honored to have Tim as a part of our E-Street band community.”

• Russert: “I love you, Dad, and in his words, let us all, ‘go get ‘em.’”

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• Russert: “He had a great time living, and is no doubt having the time of his life in heaven. So I ask you, this Sunday, in your hearts and in your minds to imagine a Meet the Press Special Edition, live from inside St. Peters Tate. Maybe Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr will be on the full hour debating. Perhaps JFK and Barry Goldwater will give their two cents abuot the 2008 election.”

• “All throughout high school and college I was taught to avoid cliches…like the plague, but there was really one which defined his father and the prism to which he saw light,” begins Luke, before pouring half a glass of water. “When I hold this up some of you see a glass half empty and some of you see a glass half full, for Tim Russert his glass was always half full.”

• Luke Russert, the final speaker, takes the microphone: “Good afternoon, I’m Luke Russert, proud son of Tim and Maureen.”

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Click continued to see all the updates from the 100-minute memorial service…


Doris Kearns Goodwin calls Meet the Press, “the heartbeat of democracy.”

• Williams on the supposed ‘end’ of Tim’s journalistic style: “Just as the spectacularly impressive Luke Russert has his father’s DNA in him, and displayed that so brilliantly over these past several days, I’m telling our coworkers, so do we. We breathed in that air that Tim breathed out among us.”

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• Williams reports Tim’s last words were, “What’s happening,” to Washington bureau editing supervisor Candice Harrington.

Brian Williams begins: “Up until today I thought his full name was ‘Washington bureau chief, moderator of Meet the Press, Tim Russert.’”

• Striver reads the poem that helped her get through the death of her cousin, John F. Kennedy, Jr..

• “He loved helping people, he loved helping people who worked for him, he loved helping strangers,” Striver said. “In that famous Russert radar, he just knew who to help.”

Maria Shiver takes the microphone: “I lost my heart to Timmy Russert the day I met him, and the entire time I knew him he took care of it. He protected my heart when it needed protecting. He nurtured it when it needed care, and helped it grow. And he never ever broke it. A rare man indeed.”

• Barnicle shares stories from their two families over the years. At the Baseball Hall of Fame, visiting the Brokaws in Montana, watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees, Tim crying after dropping Luke off at college…

Mike Barnicle: “A guy who was uniquely without envy. Tim enjoyed your success, took pride in your accomplishments.”

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• “We have lost the benefit of Tim’s political wisdom, at a time when we need it most,” says Cuomo. “It will be difficult if not impossible to replace that wisdom.”

Mario Cuomo: “His success as a journalist was enough to win him respect, but it was not enough to win him love. And that’s what millions of people feel for him.”

• Hunt says he thinks Russert was, “on the fast track to be the president of NBC News.” He says: “Tim turned to the oldest virtues and verities of the profession. Preparation, integrity, fairness, accountability, chalkboards.”

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• Bloomberg’s Al Hunt: “If I had asked him for advice, as I did in any important decision I had to make, about being the house Episcopalian speaking after Sister Lucille and before Mario Cuomo, he would have shaken his head, smiled, and said ‘dress well.’”

• FishbowlDC catches what MTP EP Betsy Fischer said: “In the seventeen years I’ve had the great honor of working with you and learning from you, you have never once steered me wrong.”

• Socciarelli: “You’re in heaven now, Tim, where every day is Meet the Press.”

• Sister Lucille Socciarelli describes Russert’s childhood, and their shared love of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. “We rang doorbells, made signs, stuffed envelopes. Those were the days when it felt that anything was possible,” she says.

• Brokaw, on what Tim would see in the crowd: “My family, my closest friends from near and far, the powerful, the ordinary, and the largest contingent of all, those who think they should be his successor on Meet the Press.” Camera cuts to NBC News president, Steve Capus, clapping and laughing along with the rest of the crowd.

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Tom Brokaw (or as Russert called him “Tommy B”) begins: “I want you know at the outset, this is going to be a celebration. And we’re going to do this Irish-ly, some tears, some laughs, and the occasional truth.”

• 16 images, 10 speakers and one podium grace the stage at the Russert memorial service.

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Chris Jansing is anchoring coverage of the memorial.

• Sen. Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are shown arriving to the service. Hillary sits next to Madeleine Albright.

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