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GLENN: Last night about 9:00, I returned home. I had driven on the west side highway and I had watched the barges still around the United Airlines jet that was still in the river. I passed right by the George Washington bridge that just a few hours earlier had an Airbus fly 900 feet above it. I had spent the day in my office here in Midtown Manhattan thinking about this city, thinking about its people, thinking about everything that it has gone through, thinking about 9/11 to the Wall Street crash; to the suicide that happened just outside my window at the Empire State building about a week, week and a half ago; to the protests that have marred our streets in the recent weeks. I stood in the back of my office and I looked right out over the river right at the USS Intrepid to see the ferries that had been shuttling the people off that plane. And I drove home reflective. As I pulled up to the house, I saw my son's curtains move. I knew he was in bed, but I could tell he was still up. So I took off my coat and my scarf and I hung it up in the closet, put my briefcase down and I quietly walked up the stairs with my dog Victor by my side. I rounded the corner right by my son's bedroom and I told Victor to lay down, wait by the door. And I quietly opened up the door and there was my son in bed, silent and still. In the glow of the nightlight, I had just about turned around and I saw his head pop up. He just wanted me to know that he was awake and I could come in.
So he sat up and I said, "Lay back down, Raphe." And I walked over to his bed and I knelt next to his bed and kind of tucked him in and held him there kind of in the crook of my arm and had my hand on his head as I brushed his hair kind of back out of his face. He said, "Hi, Daddy." I said, "Raphe, Daddy saw a miracle today." He said, "You did?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "What miracle did you see?" I said, "Daddy saw a plane land in the river." He said, "I saw that, too." I said, "You did?" He said, "Yeah. Mommy turned on the TV. I saw the plane in the water." I said, "Pretty amazing, huh? Everybody was okay." My 4-year-old son then said to me, "I saw a hero today, Daddy." I said, "I did, too. Who did you see?" My son calls New York City the big city. "Daddy going to the big city today?" I said, "Who did you see?" He said, "Daddy, the big city, the firemen, they have boats." I said, "I know they do." He said, "I saw all the fireboats and the firemen on the boats and they were helping people off. I'm going to be a fireman. When I'm big like you, I'm going to be a fireman." I said, "Put your head down. Time to go to sleep. Dream big".
I said earlier today that a miracle is just a change in perspective. So many times there's so much tragedy in our life that we can't look at the tragedy. We can't get past the human toll. This time there was no human toll, no human toll. It's incredible to me. It was so lacking of human toll that it gave me a chance as I was driving home yesterday on the west side highway to look at all the apartment buildings, see all the offices that were facing the river. I wondered how many people had had that rush that I had yesterday of, "Oh, no, not again. ".
We have a new affiliate, 710 WOR in New York. I talked to a couple of people that witnessed it yesterday or seeing it this morning. If you were out on the street or you were in your office or you were in your apartment and you happened to see that Airbus lumber down the Hudson River, if anybody happened to be on the George Washington bridge within the sound of my voice, 888-727-BECK. What was it like to be on the bridge and seeing that Airbus coming just -- and miss you by 900 feet. Anybody who lived through 9/11, I mean, it must have been terrifying. I mean, I feel -- I can't imagine the terror. I'm sure we've all been on a plane that has had problems or just hit really bad turbulence. I've been on a plane that lost an engine before, and it ain't fun. I was on a plane that, it was a prop plane, dual props and the lost an engine. And before the pilot could correct it, it was -- I mean, my life flashed in front of my eyes. I remember the guy who was with me, we just looked at each other like -- we didn't say anything. We just looked at each other like, "This is it." Didn't say anything, but I know we were both thinking the same thing. Probably a lot like, probably a lot like the woman that I read about that was on the plane last night. Her name is Elizabeth McHugh. She's 64 years old. She's a grandma. She's from Charlotte, North Carolina. She said, "Some people locked arms. Others prayed. We just followed the captain. He said, "Brace for impact." We did. We put our heads down. We got ready. I thought I was going to die I just kept thinking to myself, I never got to tell my family I love them every day." Dave Sanderson said, "I just saw the New York skyline getting closer and closer and closer." I'm wondering how long it's going to be before environmentalists start to sue for what the plane did to the geese. I'm wondering how long it's going to be before environmentalists start complaining about what people do to birds around the airport. You know the airports, they have squads, they have bird squads basically. They have people who go out with dogs and cats and repellant and... and guns. Yes, they can kill the birds. I'm wondering how long before the environmentalists start in on this story.
Do you know that 90% of all the bird problems that we have at airports are because the birds have been protected? The birds have been protected by environmentalists. I had a friend of mine, one of the weirdest guys I think I've ever met, he's a bird watcher and he's -- I mean, he's damn near insane, he really is. And I love him, but he's damn near insane. And he's a bird watcher and, you know, he's -- Stu, what was the thing that he participated in? It was like some sort of a sport where you go out and you have to go see how many different kinds of birds that you can see in a certain amount of time? Do you remember that? And he had gone out like 5:00 in the morning until midnight and he had to go and he was, you know, hip deep in water, quietly just watching the birds (making bird sounds). "Look, it's a very rare Central Park pigeon." And he actually seriously said to me, "You know, I don't mean to be callous or anything, but the World Trade Centers coming down was the best thing that ever happened to the bird population." He's a lifelong New Yorker. You've got to be kidding me. (Making bird noises). "Look, it's a Central Park pigeon flipping you off."
Sometimes we lose perspective. Sometimes we can be looking at the wrong things, just like I think grandma was looking at yesterday. Gee. You know, I've had -- the last 12 months as a dad has been difficult for me, the last really 18 months, been really difficult as a dad. And someday I... someday. Oh, yeah, kids, I'm writing a book. Someday I'll share some of the stuff with you that I've learned, but I tell you it's -- the biggest, the hardest part about being a dad I think, and maybe I'm the only one, the hardest thing about being a dad is every time I walk away from my kids -- because I have other things to do. I mean, you know, I'm still in the house or whatever, but I can be down flat on my belly playing with the trains, I can be with my youngest daughter playing with her dollhouse and, "Oh, look, the baby is... oh, look, she's now in the kitchen." (Laughing). I can play this for hours. We can all be sitting around playing Candyland or Skip-Bo or whatever it is we're playing or I could just be sitting last night like I was in between my eldest daughter and my wife watching The Office. But at some point whether it's just time to go to bed because it's 11:00 and I've got to get up early, or I have to go to work or I just have to go into the other room and finish something that I'm working on there, every time I get up, I think to myself, "What is more important? Where are you going?"
Sometimes we're there, however, and we still miss what we're supposed to see. You don't necessarily have to be away from whatever it is to miss it. Sometimes we're there in the room and we don't say, "I love you." We don't say the words that need to be said because we just don't even think about it until it's time to think about it. But even though I've personally been struggling with being a dad, even though probably every other time I would have walked away and as I closed the door and said to my son like I did last night as he was sitting there in the warm glow of his fire truck nightlight and I say, "See you tomorrow, Raphe. How much do I love you?" And he whispers from his bed, "From here to the sun and back again." I usually close the door and think to myself, "Where are you going? Why didn't you spend two more minutes." But this week, it was on Tuesday, my wife said, "I went into Raphe's room and woke him up, got him dressed. He was putting on pants and they were just way too short. He's in another growth sport." She said, "I wanted to write you just to tell you that I said we have to get rid of these pants, Raphe, you're growing out of them. And he said, yep, I'm grown up; I'm going to be big. And when I'm big, I'm going to be a really good dad just like my daddy." While I missed that moment myself, had my lovely wife share it with me, truth is I've been in the room the whole time that he's been thinking that. Sometimes we don't see what we're supposed to see because we're busy just thinking other things, even though we're laying down, playing with the trains, reading a story or kneeling by his bedside as he tells you about, "In the big city the firemen have boats."