May 23rd, 2008
05:18 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Giving Back

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

Big Brown – the horse who could be the first triple-crown winner in 30 years – is making headlines for more than just his legwork. The horse’s owners today announcing they’ll donate a portion of Big Brown’s winnings from the Belmont Stakes to start a college fund for the son of a NY police officer seriously injured earlier this week. The 30 year old officer – who is still in the hospital – was hit by a drunk driver with a suspended license.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown is here to stay, and her family is offering up a big “thanks”.

Molly – as she’s known – has given a lot in her five years. She’s spent countless hours searching for survivors of natural disasters and looking for murder victims as a search and rescue dog. The energetic lab never lacked energy, so when she became lethargic, everyone noticed. Turns out, Molly needed a pacemaker… but they’re not cheap, especially for a dog. Lucky for Molly and her family, she has plenty of supporters.

There is a wonderful, moving gallery at CNN.com from our iReporters that puts this weekend in perspective. We know it isn’t really about sales, barbeques and summer; Memorial Day is a much more solemn occasion, set aside to remember the sacrifices of those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Get to know the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, from the people who knew and loved them best.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Racing horses is no more "cruel" than using them to pull wagons and all those things we used to do (but not so much anymore) - including eating them. I know equestrian jumpers and horse racers and there are no animals that are better cared for. Everytime something bad like this happens you always get people calling for a ban on such things.

    May 26, 2008 at 10:17 am |
  2. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, thanks for Big Brown's story. Whenever I see a horse story, it reminds me of my favorite movie called Seabiscuit. I'm actually not into horse racing that much, but that movie really moved me; I must have seen that movie 20 times. Horses are amazing, majestic, and smart animals. I'm glad Big Brown's helping that policeman's family! I hope he wins the triple crown!

    Have a good Memorial Day weekend, Erica!

    Edmonds, Washington

    May 24, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  3. Esteban, Daly City, CA

    Erica, Erica

    Finally you bring up a point worth discussing; Big Brown and the generosity of te owners of the horse that really deserves credit, instead of wasting people's time spinning stupid comments like the one attributed to HRC. I hear the comment and I still can;t find the controversy with it.

    I won't support Obama but I will cheer like crazy for Big Brown in the Belmont.

    May 24, 2008 at 3:47 am |
  4. Trudy in Peoria

    Erica, given what has just happened with Hillary's comments today, Is CNN going to do a 40th Anniversary special on the RFK assassination of June 5th? A lot of people need to be educated on what a great man he was and how tragic his death was to this country. We might also examine what happened during the 1968 Chicago riots during the convention.

    May 24, 2008 at 3:08 am |
  5. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    Well said about the true meaning of Memorial Day. We are really a great country with people who care deeply . We stumble at times, but there is no other country that gives us all so much. Have a great weekend. Take Care all.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Hi Erica!

    I'm glad Molly got her pacemaker and is feeling better. You didn't say in your post – will Molly be able to return to work??

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 23, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  7. Vilmarie

    Happy Friday Erica.

    Thanks for bringing the Memorial Day moving gallery to our attention. The gallery looks well laid out. So, nice job for whoever put it together to help us reflect. Racing horses can be a cruel sport if the horse is overworked. The last time I rode was in Long Island a couple of years ago. What a cute picture of the little girl with Molly Brown. This case proves a dog is man's best friend. What a cute chocolate Lab.

    I won't be watching tonight because of volunteer work the last several hours already but my best wishes for yet another great show!


    May 23, 2008 at 8:56 pm |
  8. EJ

    Uh oh, Betty Ann. Don't say that in Kentucky! 🙂

    May 23, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  9. H.E.

    People appreciate horses for their speed.
    People relate car engine power to horse power.
    We all would be eating horse meat if it was not for our appreciation of their unique value/speed.
    Conclusion: horse racing helps keep horse meat off most people's dinner tables.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  10. Kathy, Chicago

    The 60th Anniversary party will have mostly old-timers. Most of the men are Vets. Thanks for reminding me. I will make an extra effort to hug them and thank them for their service! Hope everyone's holiday is safe and enjoyable!

    May 23, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  11. Cheryl Jean

    Hi Erica,

    For the second day in a row, your blog has brought tears to my eyes. Yestersay's blog about cancer and your Dad(my husband), and today with the injured policeman, the dog who gets the pacemaker ,and all the wonderful men and women who continue to gives their lives for our country.

    You will not be surprised to know that your father, a veteran, made sure the American flag is flying for the Memorial Day Weekend. Right now, his best buddy, Bailey the Beagle, is relaxed by his side. Bailey will keep him company on Monday, Memorial Day, when the jets fly overhead at twleve noon to honor all of our veterans. Your father won't be able to go to the parade due all of his health complications, but he is thrilled to be alive for another Memorial Day. He will celebrate the freedoms we continue to have in this country as he watches his daughter, with great pride, share the evening's news with honesty, integrity, compassion and, when appropriate, a wonderful sense of humor!


    May 23, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  12. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Hello Erica, I'm not sure how I feel about animal sports.. but it is cool what they are doing to do with some of the "Big Bucks" they have..I feel so bad for 5-Bells..? and drinking & driving..oh that is the worst & people don't seem to care..humm.
    Erica enjoy your wk.end..I will be remembering my brother..and all those who serve. see u.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  13. Judi Smith

    I am not surprised that the owner of Big Brown gave money to a cause that had to do wth a drunk driver killing a on duty police man. The owner of Big Brown's wife and the mother of his young daughter lost her mother and he lost his much younger wife due to drugs and a killing! This is a very interesting story if any body ever wants to follow up on it ERICA!

    May 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  14. Michael, NC

    Wow Betty Ann-I haven't ever thought of it like that...but at least the winnings will go towards a VERY appropriate cause. That's awesome.
    I love those search and rescue dogs, it is a blessing to have them for the amazing work they do. They always seem so much cuter than any other normal dog...wonder why?
    Memorial day is a great day to pay homage, but shouldn't we do that every day, I guess the "memorial" before it gives me a good excuse to bbq and chill all day with my buddies, so I'm not complaining.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  15. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    I agree with Betty Ann, however it is nice that they are donating for a good cause. Horse racing is very hard on the animals. The horse is my favorite animal! I love the way they look and, believe it or not, the way they smell. I could spend a whole day out in the field with horses, you'd have to drag me away. Anyhow, have a great weekend! See you later.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  16. Tee

    Yeah, you wanna hear alittle about giving back. I thought you'd find this pretty funny. Okay, the day I mentioned what a cute bulldog that was, I know it was St. Benard now, a little puppy appeared and is hanging around the house. It could be a neighbors but I washed it today b/c it has fleas. I don't know why it's here, but the cute little thing won't leave. I don't know what to do. I think someone dropped the dog off. But giving back like I do, I washed the darn thing. My cat might get fleas. I hope I didn't wash a neighbors dog. Poor little dog.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Brian from Los Angeles, California

    This is really good to hear that something good can come out of something so unfortunate and tragic.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  18. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Erica!
    Personally I believe that horse racing is a cruel sport.
    ie: The Kentucky Derby.
    I hope that our society as a whole can evolve to find entertainment which does not include cruelty, violence, and exploitation.
    Thanks and Peace~

    May 23, 2008 at 5:44 pm |