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.

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.