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Charlie Ebersol thanks Notre Dame family

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dear Notre Dame Family,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never be able to repay the love I felt from so many of you. I hope you all know what wonderful people our beautiful Notre Dame Family has. The endless letters, emails and phone calls to my family, and me and the donations to my brother’s charity are overwhelming. While I wouldn’t wish a tragedy like this on my worst enemy, I do wish that each and every one of you would one day feel – if just for one moment – the gracious heart that beats on our campus. I love Notre Dame in a way many may never understand. When I was down, the school picked me up, and when I was up, the school kept me humble. To be honest, the love I was taught in my family and at Notre Dame gave me a sense of immortality that I believe my brother now enjoys.

I tell people, when they ask, that when I went back onto the airplane after my father was off safely, I just expected to find my brother. I just “knew” he was going to be all right. When I didn’t find him, I was shocked and angry. Now, when I think back on it, I am beginning to understand that he is all right. In fact, I believe he is in a better place than the rest of us. It is the selfish part in all of us that scorns death and wishes for immortality here on earth. I wish I still had my brother in my life. He had a way with people that brought joy into their lives. Faced with a tragedy like this, he would work his magic as he healed our pain and brought back the greatest medicine of all: laughter. When I think about that, I smile, because I realize that he does not need to be here in person to do that … I just wish he were.

There will be a time in your life when you need someone. You will be hurt, or you will be sad, and you will pray for a shoulder to cry on or an ear to talk to. Every night, just before I fall asleep, I pray to God that He will let me be there for you the way each and everyone of you was here for me. There is a hole in my family’s heart now, but you should all know that it is the Notre Dame family that is helping us feel the rest of it beat life and love back into our bodies. My family and I wish to thank you for that.

May God bless each of you.

Charlie Ebersol



Jan. 11