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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Anderson Cooper's Final Thought

Aired August 11, 2003 - 19:57   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Finally tonight, Herb Brooks has died, killed today in a car crash at the age of 66.
If you don't know the name, you'll no doubt remember the team. Brooks coached the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to a gold medal, he was the coach of that unspeakably exciting upset victory over the Soviet Union. A victory charged with political, even military significance.

People still remember Brooks for that, and hockey fans later knew him as a professional coach as well. Herb Brooks would return to the Olympics. But he was never famous enough for the general public to feel as if they knew him, and maybe in some ways that's a better kind of fame. We're less tempted to render him a saint in our eulogies the way we too often do.

Those who knew Herb Brooks knew better than we could say what they've lost. Those who didn't know him personally still have reason to mourn him. He did wonderful things for America anyway. If you're lucky to have witnessed that moment, you're likely never to forget it. The moment wasn't a miracle, of course, it was a team of young men working hard led by another man, Herb Brooks. And that is definitely enough.

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