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Service held for newsman Tim Russert

National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

June 19, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The crowd at Tim Russert's funeral would have made a great panel on his Sunday morning news show. The two men vying to become president, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, were there, as were members of Congress, television journalists and several generations of politicians from both parties.

Russert, the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," died Friday of a heart attack. He was 58.

Newscaster Tom Brokaw opened the memorial service by lifting a bottle of Rolling Rock beer to salute his fallen colleague. "We are going to do it Irish style," Brokaw, who pilfered the Rolling Rock from Russert's cooler, said at the service held at the Kennedy Center. "There will be some tears, some laughs and the occasional truth."

Russert's 22-year-old son, Luke, gave the eulogy. His mother and Russert's widow, Maureen Orth, looked on. "My dad was my best friend," Luke Russert said. "To explain my bond with my father is utterly impossible to put into words."

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