Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Remembering Ben Bradlee: Legendary Post editor celebrated at funeral as inspiring, irreverent, brave --- Family, friends and colleagues gather to pay final tribute to Benjamin C. Bradlee --- Following a small choir’s soft alto affirmation of America’s beauty, the organ swelled, and the people joined in, and the national hymn that Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee chose for his own funeral filled the cathedral, its pews lined with the powerful and the ordinary. -- Then a prayer, and two sailors delivering a taut flag to the editor’s widow, and a bugler sounding taps from high in the Gothic rafters, and then, because this was Mr. Bradlee who was being celebrated, a sharp break from the stately and solemn: The band struck up Sousa’s jaunty “The Washington Post” march and Ben Bradlee left the building as he had departed his newspaper on so many nights through the 26 years he led it: electrifying the room just by sweeping through it. -- Mr. Bradlee’s funeral Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral was an exercise in high Episcopal ritual, but also a statement of the man’s irreverence and verve, a joyful cataloguing of the ingredients he used to transform his paper into one of the best: a zest for the great story, a certain swagger and above all, a belief that if ain’t fun, it ain’t worth doing. -- Since Mr. Bradlee died last week at 93, he has been recalled as the architect of an aggressive reporting force with a literary bent, as a man who admired spunk, relished smarts and loathed phonies. At his farewell, colleagues, friends and family remembered him as a symbol of what journalism might achieve, a character with an almost mystically motivating role in the lives of those who worked with him, and a man with the courage to support those who make mistakes and unbridled love for those around him. -- Read More, Marc Fisher,


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