Tom Brokaw

  • Aired:  09/08/11
  •  | Views: 52,435

Tom Brokaw recalls the experience of reporting on the 9/11 attacks and explores how Americans have been shaped by the tragedy. (6:06)

>> STEPHEN: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

FOLKS, YOU'RE IN FOR A REAL

TREAT TONIGHT BECAUSE WE HAVE A

BROADCAST LEGEND WHO WILL BE

INTERVIEWING TOM BROKAW.

PLEASE WELCOME, TOM BROKAW.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

TOM, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THANKS FOR COMING ON.

>> GREAT TO BE HERE, STEPHEN.

>>

>> STEPHEN: THERE'S NO

AVOIDING IT.

IT'S A TOUGH SUBJECT.

THIS SUNDAY IS THE TENTH

ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11.

>> YES, IT IS.

>> STEPHEN: UM EVERYBODY IS

TALKING ABOUT IT ON ALL THE NEWS

CHANNELS.

AS SOMEBODY WHO ANCHORED THE

ENTIRE DAY, IS IT HARD FOR YOU

TO REVISIT IT AS IT IS FOR ME TO

WATCH IT?

>> IN MANY WAYS IT'S INSTRUCTIVE

FOR ME TO REVISIT IT BECAUSE

I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM

TALKING TO THE SURVIVORS THAT

GOT OUT OF TOWERS, THE WIDOWS,

THE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WENT

THROUGH THAT ORDER DEAL.

IT CAUSES ME AS WELL TO TURN THE

CLOCK BACK AND TRY TO REMEMBER

WHAT I WAS THINKING.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT WERE YOU

DOING?

THAT MORNING WHEN WERE YOU

DOING?

>> MY WIFE HAD JUST GOTTEN ME

STARTED DOING YOGA AND I WAS SO

EAGER TO GET OUT OF IT I CAN'T

EVEN TELL YOU.

>> STEPHEN: TOM BROKAW, WERE

YOU WEARING YOKE YAZ, THE TYPE

THAT ARE SEXY AND TIGHT UP TOP

AND FLARE AT THE KNEE.

IT'S A SEPARATE TRAGEDY I DON'T

WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

>> IT IS A TRAGEDY.

>> STEPHEN: YOU ARE DOING

YOGA.

>> I GET A CALL.

THEY SAID WE THINK A SMALL PLANE

IS AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.

YOU BETTER GET DOWN HERE.

>> I DRESSED QUICKLY AND WENT

OUT.

IN UPPER MANHATTAN PEOPLE WERE

GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS.

HALFWAY DOWNTOWN I WAS LISTENING

TO A WELL KNOWN RADIO REPORTER

HE SAID ANOTHER PLANE FLEW OVER

ME AND IT THREW INTO THE OTHER

TOWER.

I CALLED MY WIFE AND I SAID

WE'RE AT WAR.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE CAN TALK.

START WATCHING.

THIS I GOT TO THE STUDIO WITH

KATIE AND MATT.

WHEN I PLAYED THE TAPE BACK IN

MY MIND, THERE WAS A SURREAL

QUALITY WITH IT.

IT SEEMED TO UNFOLD IN A SLOMO

WAY BECAUSE WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT

WAS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.

WHEN YOU GO TO WAR OR WHEN

HURRICANE EYE SCREEN COMING

ASHORE, YOU HAVE WARNING.

IN THIS CASE IT COMPLETELY

STUNNED ALL OF US.

WE TALK ABOUT THIS LATER.

I SAID IT TOOK EVERYTHING THAT I

KNEW NOT JUST AS A JOURNALIST

BUT AS A HUSBAND AND AS A

FARTHER AND AS A CITIZEN TO GET

THROUGH THAT DAY.

GOD FORBID IT HAD TO HAPPEN BUT

I WAS AT THAT TIME 61 I THOUGHT

IT'S GOING TO TAKE EVERYTHING I

KNOW TO TRY TO GET THROUGH THIS

DAY.

I THEN TRIED TO PUT EVERYTHING

THAT WE WERE SEEING IN CONTEXT.

AT ONE POINT I DID SAY WE'RE AT

WAR.

ANOTHER TIME B MIDDAY, I SAID

THIS COUNTRY WILL NOT BE THE

SAME FROM THIS MOMENT ON.

THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE US.

>> STEPHEN: LET'S TALK ABOUT

THE CHANGE THAT HAS HAPPENED

OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS.

A LOT OF MY AUDIENCE, THEY ARE

NOT EVEN OLD ENOUGH DRINK BUT I

THINK SOME OF THEM DO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

THEY DON'T REMEMBER THAT DAY OR

THEY REMEMBER IT FROM THE POINT

OF VIEW OF WATCHING THE OLDER

PEOPLE.

IS AMERICA DIFFERENT?

>> OF COURSE IT IS.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT IS THE

BIGGEST CHANGE?

>> WE'RE IN THE TWO LONGEST WARS

IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY.

LESS THAN 1% OF THE POP

POPULATION IS TAKING 100% OF

BULLETS IN THIS COUNTRY.

>> STEPHEN: WE'RE ON A WAR ON

TWO FRONTS.

WORLD WAR II WAR ON TWO FRONTS

RED SOX WE BY CHANCE THE

GREATEST GENERATION?

WE DID STEP UP?

>> IT'S A SERIOUS QUESTION.

>> STEPHEN: I KNOW IT IS.

I'M A SERIOUS GUY.

>> I MADE A REMARK TO GENERAL

PATREAUS WHEN I WAS WITH HIM IN

THE EARLY DAYS OF THE IRAQ WAR.

I HAD MET THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.

THEY HAD JUST COME OUT OF

AFGHANISTAN AND IN IRAQ AND THEY

WERE IN TOUGH SHAPE.

I SAID THIS COULD BET NEXT

GREATEST GENERATION.

HE USES THAT PHRASE A LOT.

THE PEOPLE SERVING IN MILITARY

UNIFORM, WHO VOLUNTEERED, WHO

RAISED THEIR HANDS AND SAID I'M

READY TO GO AND A LOT OF THEM

DID AFTER NEN HAVE THAT

POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS.

THEY'VE COME BACK.

THEY'VE GONE TO SCHOOL.

THEY ARE RUNNING FOR STATE

LEGISLATURES AND CONGRESS AND

THE SENATE.

I THINK NOT ENOUGH WAS ASKED OF

THE REST OF US.

>> STEPHEN: YOU ARE HOSTING A

TWO-HOUR SPECIAL OF DATELINE AT

9:00 P.M.

YOU ARE GOING BACK TO PEOPLE YOU

INTERVIEWED AFTER 9/11th

PEOPLE I CAME TO THEY AND OTHERS

I DIDN'T KNOW.

PEOPLE WHO LINGERED IN MY OWN

MIND.

WHAT CAME -- I WAS WORRIED AT

FIRST.

I DIDN'T WANT TO WADE BACK

THROUGH THE TRAGEDY AND THE

DIFFICULTY OF THAT TIME AND

EVOKE A LOT OF TEARS.

THESE PEOPLE CAME PREPARED TO

GIVE THE COUNTRY A LESSON IN

WHERE WE NEED TO GO NOW.

BECAUSE THEY HAD THIS GREAT

TRAUMA IN THEIR LIVES LOSING A

HUSBAND OR A WIFE OR HAVING

BARELY ESCAPED FROM THE BURNING

TOWERS.

IN EACH CASE OF THE PEOPLE THAT

WE INTERVIEWED, THEY TALKED

ABOUT HOW THEY HAVE DEDICATED

THEIR LIVE IT'S BEING A BETTER

PERSON, THAT THEY HAVE A BETTER

SENSE OF VALUES ABOUT WHAT

REALLY COUNTS FOR THEM.

THEY NEVER STOP THINKING ABOUT

THEIR OFFICE WORKERS WHO DIDN'T

MAKE IT OUT OR THEIR HUSBANDS

WHO DIDN'T GET OUT.

WE HAD PEOPLE WHO -- ACTUALLY A

WIDOW WHEN HAD A HUSBAND ON

FLIGHT 93 THAT WENT DOWN IN

PENNSYLVANIA.

A FRIEND OF HERS SAID TO HER THE

FIRST DAY THIS, IS THE GOING TO

BE THE WORST DAY AND FROM NOW ON

IT'S GOING TO GET BETTER DAY BY

DAY.

SHE SAID THAT HELPED GET ME

THROUGH IT.

METAPHORICALLY WE HAVE TO SPREAD

THAT OUT IN THIS COUNTRY.

IF THEY CAN DO THAT, WHY CAN'T

THE REST OF US FIND A WAY OUT OF

DIFFICULTY WE'RE IN.

WE ARE IN A DIFFICULT SITUATION

RIGHT NOW ECONOMICALLY AND IN

TERMS OF SENSE OF IDENTITY AND

CONFIDENCE IN OUR INSTITUTIONS.

>> STEPHEN: TOM, THANK YOU SO

MUCH FOR COMING.

>> THANK YOU.

>> STEPHEN: TOM B

Loading...