has been closed for a couple of years already. And it's not
like we'd visited for a while anyway. Still, there's something
sobering about losing a man who was such an integral part of
Rogers, formally and affectionately known as Mister Rogers,
died early this morning of stomach cancer at the age of 74.
we all went through a period when it was hip to mock him,
the fact remains that Rogers was a rarity: a caring, sincere
person dedicated to his principles who never wavered from
them, an understanding friend to children in his show,
was so genuinely, genuinely kind, a wonderful person,'' David
Newell, who played mailman Mr. McFeely, said. ``His mission
was to work with families and children for television. ...
That was his passion, his mission, and he did it from day
wrote and starred in his show from 1968 to 2000, though the
final episode did not air until August 2001. Each day, he
reinforced his simple message to children, love themselves
and others, a message rooted in his deep faith. (Rogers was
an ordained Presbyterian minister.)
long to be lovable and capable of loving," Rogers said in
an interview. "And whatever we can do through the Neighborhood
or anything else to reflect that and to encourage people to
be in touch with that, then I think that's our ministry."
episode, we also got to visit the Neighborhood of Make-Believe,
ruled over by King Friday XIII and inhabited by a variety
of puppets, many of which were voiced by Rogers himself.
the Persian Gulf War, Rogers told youngsters that ``all children
shall be well taken care of in this neighborhood and beyond
- in times of war and in times of peace,'' and he asked parents
to promise their children they would always be safe.
live in a world in which we need to share responsibility,''
he said in 1994. ``It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not
my community, not my world, not my problem.'
there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those
people my heroes.''
as sabers rattle, rightly or wrongly, the world seems a bit
dimmer for the loss of his voice. I'm a fanboy, of course,
but I'm also a dad, hoping he can promise his child she will
always be safe.
a moment today, forget the comedians who mocked the man, forget
Kevin Smith's gibes in the Jay and Silent Bob comic
book, and remember what he stood for.
we could use a few more like him.
with help from The Associated Press report)