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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Journalists' Memorial

Aired May 2, 2003 - 11:14   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, we want to head up to Washington D.C. Another live event under way right now. We want to stop by. This is the Freedom Forum in Washington, a site that pays homage to journalists who died. And right now in a ceremony right now, honoring lives of journalists who lost their lives in the last year, the year of 2002 is Judea Pearl. He is the father of Daniel Pearl. You may recall him. He was "The Wall Street Journal" reporter who died in Pakistan, covering the war on terror.
Right now, Judea Pearl talking to the crowd, saying his son carried a beacon of truth in his life.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

: ... some of alarming character of the horrible world in which we live. In addition to being an innocent unarmed journalist pursuing the line of his profession, Danny was killed for a purpose. He was killed now for what he wrote or planned to write, but for what he represented. And what he represented was each one of us. To his killers, he represented the ideals that every person in every civilized society aspires to uphold, modernity, openness, pluralism, freedom of inquiry, truth and respect for all people.

Decent people of all backgrounds have consequently felt personally targeted in this crime and have felt compelled to carry on Danny's spirit. If you are an American, it was your values and your freedoms that were targeted and abducted on that fateful night in Karachi on January 23rd, 2002.

If you are a journalist, it was your hands that were bound and chained in Karachi on that terrible night. If you are a Muslim who struggles to lift his countrymen to new opportunities, it was your head that came under the gun in Karachi in January 2002.

If you are a Jew, it was your voice that blended in the voices of your ancestors in that ultimate affirmation of identity -- I am Jewish. If you are a decent man anywhere, it was your decency that was betrayed on February 21st, 2002.

This diabolic new twist of killing a journalist for what he or she represents introduced a new threat to journalists and journalism that has shocked people beyond imagination. First the idea that the country's own ethnic group could attract such intense hatred, although amplified and demonstrated already in the 9/11 attack, did not actually sink down to the mindset of most people until it became personified vividly in Danny's tragedy.

HARRIS: Some 31 journalists lost their lives in 2002. Perhaps the most well-known is Daniel Pearl. He was the writer for "The Wall Street Journal" who was doing some investigative reporting in Pakistan during the early stages of the war on terror that was taking place in Afghanistan.

Daniel Pearl's case was one that was followed around the world who respect the journalism, and the cause that Daniel Pearl was actually all about, that bringing information to spots like Pakistan and, trouble spots around the world. So we'll continue to keep our eyes and our hearts as well tuned to that event.

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