Like many of you who watched David Bloom's nightly news correspondence from Iraq in the spring of 2003, I was struck by his ability to take us along with him inside his personnel carrier as he followed an armored column from Basra in the south of Iraq north to Baghdad. We saw his chapped lips and his sleepless eyes, and could only imagine the privations he was enduring. He never put himself above the soldiers he accompanied. I believe they developed a grudging admiration for this talented news correspondent who permitted himself no luxuries that the average GI Joe didn't have.

His suddent, unexpected death was devastating to me. He epitomized everything that was good about news organizations, and he was the unquestioned leader in the team of 'embedded reporters' in the second Iraqi war. There was no doubt in my mind that he was destined to be the anchor at one of the flagship U.S. television news organizations: either CBS or NBC. His loss to news organizations is inestimable.

David Bloom is survived by his wife Melanie and their three young daughters. If you would like to write the family a letter of condolence, please send to:

To the David Bloom Family
c/o Weekend Today
NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

The Bloom family has received over 37,000 letters so far, but one more wouldn't hurt. He was an extraordinary man. I will miss his presence.