August 29th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

Dear President Obama #222: Keeping it light on dark days

Reporter's Note: President Obama is attending Senator Kennedy’s funeral today, along with a great many other big names in American politics. Perhaps, I’ll write to some of them later, but for now I’ll continue with my letter each day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I feel as if I have been to a great many funerals in my life. Certainly more than one might expect. Not long after my wife and I met we somehow got onto the subject and she was quite surprised at how many I had attended. Back then they were mainly for quite old uncles, aunts, and family friends. Over the years more of the funerals have involved people whom I knew on a much more personal basis. They are always sad and always make me think a little about the passage of time.

At my first radio station, WAMI in Opp, Alabama, ( the “City of Opportunity!”) we included the obituaries every hour as part of our local newscast. It was a small enough town (still is) that we usually had only one or two to report. Sometimes, however, we would get swamped; six or seven funerals would come rolling at us on a Saturday morning and by the time a newscast was done you’d think we were reporting on an outbreak of plague.