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Remembering JFK; Weather Outlook; Heart-Pounding Crash; CNN Heroes

Aired November 22, 2013 - 08:30   ET



We just saw the presentment of colors here at a wreath laying ceremony that's upcoming at President John F. Kennedy's grave site in Arlington National Cemetery. Today, of course, marks 50 years since he was assassinated. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forward right, order, pull.

CUOMO: This is the wreath laying ceremony at the grave site of President John F. Kennedy. We just heard them play "Taps" after the presentment of colors. Jean Kennedy Smith, the president's sister, is there and the ceremony is moving along and we'll let you watch it.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Phillip Shenon is with us once again, an expert on the Kennedy family, as well as the assassination that we are marking today, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.

When you see that eternal flame and you see these somber moments that 50 years later the country comes together to honor the president and we talked to Ed Lavandera earlier and he said he was even surprised to see thousands of people still flocking to Dallas to mark this moment. What do you think that signifies? What does today mean for the country?

PHILLIP SHENON, AUTHOR, "A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT": Really, I'm struck by how unique this is to John Kennedy. There's no other president in our lifetimes that's had this sort of effect on us and is still having this effect on us. You know, there's no other president we stop and mourn as we do John Kennedy. And you - I think you probably have to look back to Franklin Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln for that same sort of public emotion about a national leader.

CUOMO: Some symbolism and significance during the ceremony. Jean Kennedy Smith laying the wreath because?

SHENON: Well, obviously, the -- one of the last of the survivors of that generation of the Kennedy family. You know, she is the last who really carries the flame literally here.

BOLDUAN: And he is one of only two presidents to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. When I was reading back on this, and when Jackie Kennedy was asked kind of her wishes for his funeral, for his burial, she said that her wishes were simply stated as he belongs to the people.

SHENON: Indeed there was a debate about where he should be buried. Should he be buried in his home city of Boston or should he be buried in Arlington. And the decision was made that it would be a national -- since he was such a national figure, it had to be Arlington.

BOLDUAN: We were talking to - I was talking to Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent that was with the family on that day, and he was saying how she had lost the twinkle in her eye after that day. He'd spent a long time with her. How do you think she changed after the assassination and kind of what her legacy then is, along with her husband's?

SHENON: Well, I mean she tried to establish a life for herself in Washington after the assassination, but she learned almost instantly that she was this global celebrity like no other. There were paparazzi posted outside her home in Washington. She realized she would never have the same life again and she then leaves for New York where she can have ultimate privacy she believes.

CUOMO: Let's get back to the moment though because that's what today is and they're obviously trying to blend the personal and the presidential here with what we're doing. We saw family members coming up. We're going to hear bagpipes at some point. Michaela, you were saying they had special significance to the president.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. And, you know that on a day like this, you're talking about blending family and blending tradition. Apparently the former president, or JFK and his wife, had heard the Black Watch Regiment Pipes and Drums play several years before and he had commented to his wife that he really enjoyed it and really liked it.

He found it very stirring and moving. She remembered that and they played at his funeral. So it's significant that two of the performers, the pipers, would be here today. Their distinguished history dates back to 1739. It's interesting to point out, they're professional musicians, but they are still deployed. These are infantry soldiers right - you know right up to now. They're being deployed currently. So there's significance in every move that we see today.

BOLDUAN: Just taking a moment to watch as they -- a somber moment.

CUOMO: We'll bring you back to the ceremony in a moment. Stay with us.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's get over to Indra and get another check of what the forecast looks like. And look at that snow.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Seasons are a-changing. Yes. We are talking about already some snow in Colorado. And this isn't like a little baby system. They had a good two to four inches in Denver yesterday. So the question is, is there more snow in the forecast? You're going to love it.

Yes, there is, especially if you're on the West Coast. Now you can tell that system has already moved out of Denver, but plenty of more snow is on the way as that system sags farther down to the south. So where it's cold, we're going to be seeing snow. On the backside of it, where it's warm, a lot of rain.

Let's talk about how much snow they're expecting. Well, so much we're talking about even a foot or two of snow right around Colorado, especially around Telluride. The resorts love that. Albuquerque, a couple of inches in the mountains there. And even on the West Coast, all the way by California, we're talking about over a foot of snow.

So definitely a big snowmaker. Great for the resorts, but it also, unfortunately, means flooding concerns. Three to five inches of rain in the Arizona area. Never a good thing in a short period of time. So that's going to be a big story out west as we go through the weekend.

For the rest of the country, here's this huge cold front extending in the Ohio Valley, all the way down through Texas. This guy making its way across pretty slowly today. Already in the northeast starting to see some of these light showers. And that's the key, light showers. We're only talking about an inch or so of rain pretty much in the mid- Atlantic and northeast. Down around Mississippi and Arkansas, you could get about two to three inches.

Not the big story with it comes to that cold front. It is the temperatures that will be getting everyone's attention. I think by now everyone knows but just in case you're that first guy who hasn't paid attention yet, Chicago today 39, Sunday down to 25. New York City today 55, some light showers but try Sunday, 32 degrees and we're going to be talking about those temperatures obviously at freeze. So, yes, a little bit of dusting of snow on Sunday morning. A little white.

PEREIRA: And, look, you're so happy about it.

PETERSONS: Because I'll be in bed and cuddling. There's a big difference not having to walk out in it, right?

BOLDUAN: Exactly. More reason to cuddle and bundle up. Perfect.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

PEREIRA: All right, I have somebody I really want you guys to meet. My friend Brian has quite a story to tell and a little piece of video we want to show you. But to do that, we must retire to the couch.

CUOMO: Retire.





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PEREIRA: Well, well, well, what a story we have to tell you now. In fact, it's a story that we told you here on "NEW DAY". The video is kind of breathtaking. A car flying through the air, tumbling, tearing apart, littering the desert with debris. Looks like it could be something out of a movie set, but it's not. Oh, no, that was real life. And the man, Brian Gillespie, that was the driver of that car. It's kind of hard to imagine that anybody could actually survive that crash. He not only survived, but he is here with us in studio.

Mr. Brian, my brother, it is nice to see you looking so hail and hearty my friend.

BRIAN GILLESPIE, RACE CAR DRIVER: It's really nice to be here, let me tell you.

PEREIRA: I bet it is.

BOLDUAN: For more - for more reasons than one.

PEREIRA: So first of all, we need to just run down some of the things that happened to you. Concussion, collapsed lung, sprained wrist, sprained finger, a gash on your shin, broken blood vessels in your face, yet you're sitting here in front of us and you look completely fine. How are you feeling?

GILLESPIE: I feel great, actually. The only residual thing I have is in my left eye there's a little bit of blood actually inside the eye, the cornea, and it obscures my vision a little bit. But I've been noticing it's gets better every day, so -

PEREIRA: Every day.


CUOMO: Now, it's a special car. Obviously it's a hybrid and that, you know, you're obviously trying to test that genre or capability, right?

GILLESPIE: Not anymore, actually. We took the hybrid out of it a long time ago.


GILLESPIE: We basically use that car - CUOMO: But that was what the shape of the car was?

GILLESPIE: Correct. Exactly. Yes, it very aerodynamic and it made it a lot easier to make it go fast.

CUOMO: Right. And my - my question is that, safety wise though, it wasn't a Honda Insight Hybrid anymore, which is the reason that you're talking to me right now.

GILLESPIE: No. Exactly. I mean, Honda makes a super safe car, but this type of race is not what it's designed to do.

CUOMO: Right.

GILLESPIE: We had a company in California, Autopower, build the roll cage. In fact, when I asked them to build it, I said, give me something I can roll down the salt at 200 miles an hour and that's the cage they built.

PEREIRA: My goodness they did.

BOLDUAN: Now I know this is the business that you're in, but when -- you don't have any memory - is that correct, you don't have any memory of the actual crash, the actual moment it happened?

GILLESPIE: Yes, no memory of actually crashing. I mean I have memories up until third gear, taking off down the salt, everything was fine. I'm starting to get little flashes of stuff coming in, you know. Not sure if they're manufactured or real memories of it.

PEREIRA: Hmm, interesting.

GILLESPIE: We're trying to recover the in-car video. Both cameras were destroyed that were inside the car.

BOLDUAN: So what do you think when you see the video today?

GILLESPIE: You know, there's a little bit of a detachment there. You know, I certainly know that it was capable of doing that, you know, and that's why all the safety systems are there. In fact, the Southern California Timing Association has very strict rules on what safety equipment has to be in a car and they have a safety crew on hand there. So, you know, we knew it was a possibility, you just -- it's not something you really worry about other than, you know, knowing that it's a possibility.

BOLDUAN: Or you wouldn't get behind the wheel.


PEREIRA: Now, Mr., I understand you are not alone in this world. None of us are. You have family that love you very dearly and very much and your son was there and he saw this all happen.

GILLESPIE: Yes, my son was there. He was spared the really gruesome details - PEREIRA: Thank goodness.

GILLESPIE: Because there's a lot of dust behind. We're on a dry lake when we do these runs so we can't hit anything. And he was coming in -- up in a chase vehicle. But it was rather disturbing to come up and see the debris field. I mean there was -- there were parts strewn for, you know, hundreds and hundreds of yards.

CUOMO: And part of it you want that distribution of energy, right, when these things happen to try to help you.


CUOMO: Now, you say you don't remember, but obviously it's going to be so important to know how this happened, because she starts to turn, and whether it was wheel - you know, was there a power distribution issue or what do you think happened that started turning her sideways?

GILLESPIE: It could have been a number of things. I mean basically looking at the video I can tell that the back end was getting pretty light. Normally when I was running, because I was in the points lead -- or I was like second in the points lead, I would be the second one out on the course. The course would be nice and clean. Everything was great.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY" everyone.

We've been telling you about CNN's big event this week, a fabulous event. "CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE". It's a celebration of the top ten heroes of the year, you see them right there. The star- studded gala airs next Sunday December 1st, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. So mark your calendars.

CNN's Nischelle Turner, of course, was there for a behind the scenes look.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So were you all. We all put on our big girl and big boy clothes that night and stayed out and were adults. It was a lot of fun. You know mostly -- this is what we're going to show you -- is me getting in the way and being in places I probably shouldn't have been while all the work was being done setting up for such a great event.

HEROES is a wonderful event. You really don't need a reason to watch but here is a little teaser of this year's big show.


TURNER: This year we're back in New York, baby, at the American Museum of Natural History where the very first "CNN HEROES" took place seven years ago.

KELLY FLYNN, CNN HEROES: I can't believe it's been that long. We're thrilled to be back here. It's iconic and beautiful. TURNER: And the first stop of the night for these everyday heroes and celebrities -- the red carpet.

Wow. Look at it in here. Look at all these lights. You know, work like this takes hundreds of people to set up, working around the clock, and then the centerpiece of the evening. This year's "CNN HEROES" will be honored right here in the whale room, where one of the museum's biggest treasures will be watching over us all night. I'm talking about this lady right here.

That's not all that has to be done to get ready for this special event: 51 tables to set up, nine cameras to put in place and one giant video monitor.

JEFF KEPNES, CNN HEROES: You wouldn't believe just what it takes to put something like this on and you know we had about two days to bring it in and set it all up.

TURNER: Transforming this beautiful room from this to this all to honor ten everyday people who are changing the world.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It's just a nice thing to honor these people. These people, they don't get the limelight. They don't get honored. They don't have celebrities saying their names and praising their work. It's a nice thing for them. It's a nice pat on the back.

TURNER: A pat on the back from CNN that becomes a very special night of inspiration.


TURNER: You just can't get much better. You really don't.

BOLDUAN: For all the good reasons. For all the right reasons.

TURNER: I had Kleenexes stuffed everywhere.

BOLDUAN: That's a personal problem -- just kidding.

TURNER: I know.

PEREIRA: That was fun.

TURNER: It was.

BOLDUAN: And you guys can join in all the fun, "CNN HEROES: AN ALL- STAR TRIBUTE" is airing next Sunday December 1st, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Not a dry eye in the house.

You want some more good stuff?

CUOMO: We need it right after the break.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: It's time for the good stuff with a little bit of a twist. Why? We've been telling you the story of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford -- right? That is not good stuff especially because we seem to be watching an addict implode. Remember behind all the punch lines, behind the seemingly goofy overweight man and his antics is a person with a problem and by mocking him, lampooning him, was there somewhat of a chilling effect on people with a problem, where they don't want to come forward because they don't want to be mocked, they're already embarrassed.

All right. So we discussed the situation with our guest William Moyers of the Hazelden Clinic, OK. He addressed his own addiction some 20 years ago and reports that since the appearance -- here's the good stuff -- people started to reach out to him. He got hundreds of messages liking his message but families reached out for help for others and themselves. So far three are already in treatment.

PEREIRA: Fantastic.

CUOMO: Keep three in context. Admitting a problem is the first step because it's the hardest step. Going to treatment almost just as hard, so for anybody who have watched this, heard the message and actually wound up doing some good, that's the good stuff.

PEREIRA: Think about how this affects people.

BOLDUAN: Surprising turn.

PEREIRA: It could also affect other people like it has done.

CUOMO: Certainly their families, certainly their families.

PEREIRA: Beautiful. What a great good stuff.

CUOMO: All right, time for the "NEWSROOM," we head you over to John Berman and Christine Romans. Hello my friends.

PEREIRA: Happy Friday.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey guys. Have a great weekend, you guys. You really deserve it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It is Friday and "NEWSROOM" starts right now.

You are a looking at the live pictures of eternal flame right now. It was lit in honor of the life of the late President John F. Kennedy. He was assassinated 50 years ago today. That's a live picture of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. We are remembering JFK's life throughout the day here on CNN 50 years later.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Carol Costello is off today.

ROMANS: All right. We're going to have more on the JFK remembrances later but first a 22-year ban now getting a second look and that means talking on the cell phone while flying just might become a reality.

BERMAN: This goes in the "worst idea ever" file. Whether you consider this --