Brokaw Bids Goodbye in Final Broadcast
12/02/2004 AT 08:00 AM EST
"Well, the time is here," Brokaw, 64, who has sat at his desk for 23 years, said into the camera. "We've been through a lot together, through dark days and nights, through seasons of hope and joy."
Yes, there was a bit of choking up to be detected at times, especially as he spoke of "the Greatest Generation," those who served in World War II and built a post-War America.
In wrapping up, Brokaw said: "The enduring lessons through the decades are these: It's not the questions that get us in trouble, it's the answers. ... Whatever the story, I had only one objective: to get it right, always mindful that your patience and attention didn't come with a lifetime warranty."
Bob Hope's wistful rendition of "Thanks for the Memory" played in the background before the lights in the Rockefeller Center studio went out – though not before Brokaw had announced: "You'll see Brian Williams here tomorrow night, and I'll see you along the way."
As he left the studio – where he received a standing ovation from all, including wife Meredith and daughters Sarah and Jennifer – Brokaw told his staff to continue to work hard, so that they can continue to serve the American people.