Great story. And that’s how I remember it. But is it true? Yes, I’d swear it…but maybe not on my life. Did the kid jam that Kalashnikov in my chest or did he just point it at me? Did the two kids begin to sing? I’d love to think so.
I do remember being scared witless. And it may–or may not–be that I’ve exaggerated those aspects of the story as an ego gratifying thing or, maybe, to convey the terror and relief I felt at the time. Or maybe not. It may just be true.
All of which is to say: I understand Brian Williams’ predicament. Our memories are not very reliable, especially in life-and-death situations. Part of it is, yes, our need to aggrandize the risks we take; part of it is our minds’ reaction to fear. Part of it is that journalism involves story-telling and sometimes the story gets carried away with itself. Mistakes are made. My story may be minor compared to the one Brian Williams told–but that one story should not imperil his distinguished career. His apology was not elegant, but it should be accepted.