Exactly ten years ago today — on April 5th, 2003 — our friend David Bloom died in Iraq at the age of 39. Nine years ago I wrote this essay:
BUT SWEET WILL BE THE FLOWER: The Life And Death Of NBC’s David Bloom
At twelve o’clock stood New York Governor, George Pataki. At one o’clock , White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher. At two o’clock was former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani. At three o’clock , just across the aisle, were Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Ann Curry. Everywhere one looked were pundits and anchors and government officials, so many of them that you thought you had fallen into your tv set. There was Tom Brokaw and there was Tim Russert and there was Andrea Mitchell. And there was Chris Mathews and Lester Holt and Campbell Brown. And there was Dominic Dunne and there was General Barry MacCaffrey and there was Peggy Noonan. And there we were, my wife and I, at our friend’s funeral.
The scene was St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, just over a year ago, and the sad occasion was the funeral of David Bloom, the former NBC White House Correspondent and Weekend Today Show anchor whose good looks and brilliance and ebullience had recently brought him the greatest fame of his famous life. For several exhiliarating and tense weeks the entire country had watched him and prayed for him as he bounced along in his modified tank, which someone had dubbed the Bloom Mobile, windswept and typically enthusiastic, the best-known embed in the Iraq War, updating us from the ever-changing middle of it all, and somehow reassuring us by his very presence, by his inherent and ineffable upbeatness, that everything — despite everything — was okay.
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