Tom Brokaw – Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipient
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[Tom Brokaw – Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipient]
[Thomas John “Tom” Brokaw (February 6, 1940):] S o u r c e : L Y B I O . N E T
Well I was stunned, I got a call from the White House alerting me that it was going to be announced and I should keep it confidential and I, you know, I, I’ve been around for a while at this point and I’ve had other honors but nothing like this one, as I said to all my friends; this one counts. And uh…and it was an emotional moment for me, I was home alone and I thought about the odyssey of my life with my wife and the family that we have growing up in a small town in South Dakota and getting the highest civilian award this country gives.
And uh…what has been really gratifying is the response, people I don’t know, I get stopped on the street, you know I’m getting emails from a lot of my old friends. But the best part of it is the people on the street; cops, taxi drivers, tourist in New York coming over and uh…and being very enthusiastic about the fact that I’m getting it, so I think I’ll get out of here alive.
I’ve grown up as a political junkie from my earliest memory, I was interested in politics and how the system works; it is the glue that holds us together and sometimes imperfectly. And then, I’ve discovered as I was coming of age, the place that journalism plays in all of that, and I thought as a perfect intersection for me. And so, I think my contribution has been that as a journalist I’ve worked very hard; whatever party happens to be in power to reflect accurately what they have in mind and where they want to go and how we all have a place in all of this.
And during these times especially, I think that, we need to think about you know, the long-term goals. So I hope that I’m being honored in part because I did work so hard as being a responsible journalist interested in accuracy; not promoting one or the other. And I think another piece of it is that I wrote a book called: ‘The Greatest Generation’ which I acknowledged the role, of that WWII Generation, in giving us the lives that we have today, politically and otherwise.
One of the things I don’t want to get lost as a Journalist are the accomplishments of this country everyday. And ways that they don’t get recognized, if you watch television you’d think that American is made up of the Kardashians and – and in fact, as we sit here in laboratories across America and the great hospital systems, people are working to find a cure for cancer, or another kind of medical miracle that they’re doing. Educators are not making a lot of money going into the inner city trying to educate children and give them hope for their own lives uh…there are people everywhere that we go and the law enforcement ranks at uh…across America who believe in this country and maybe they are first generation immigrants but they’ve come here because there is no place on earth like it, frankly for them. And so I hope, that I can reflect that as well as I go forward.
[Tom Brokaw:] S o u r c e : L Y B I O . N E T
Looking back I was with one of my colleagues last night we were together 40 years ago and I – he was a senior guy then and I learned from him about journalism is a serious calling, it is not just about celebrity or being on television or putting on makeup. It is about telling the country what it needs to know to make decisions about their lives and their government and their future. And its not vested with ideological – with an ideological strain of one kind or another people know – need to know factually what is happening so they can make informed decisions about where there country is going because at the end of the day the government and the political system binds us in a way and we’re not always happy with the outcome but that’s the nature of democracy but to get to to where you want to get to you have to have information that is credible and reliable and will hold up over time and I think that’s what the role of journalism is.
Tom Brokaw – Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipient. If you watch television you’d think that American is made up of the Kardashians. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.