Tim Russert: 1950-2008

June 14, 2008 at 4:40 PM ET

On this morning's special tribute to NBC's Tim Russert, Matt Lauer shared his thoughts about his friend and colleague  (WATCH VIDEO):

Although we have spent the last two hours or so trying to do justice to the life and career of Tim Russert, my fear is that we have only scratched the surface. It's impossible, I think, for you people at home to know how big a hole we all have in our hearts this morning and how much we'll miss our friend and our colleague, or how we will forever be trying to fill his formidable shoes.  

You know, Tim would be the first person to say at one point it is necessary to move on. The new cycle, he would say, demands it. There's an election and so much more to cover. But moving on is much easier said than done when it comes to Tim Russert, because in many ways he defined us here, and I know he elevated us all.

But just think of the feast that awaits him. Right now, he's probably making a list of all the powerful people, the former presidents, the senators, the members of Congress, sitting up there in heaven's green room lining up for the chance to go toe to toe just one more time with Tim. He's probably already made the bookings calls. He's lined up one heck a panel for tomorrow morning. And as is always the case, he is doing his homework, he's getting prepared. When that red light goes on, he'll be at the top of his game. He'll shoot from the hip, he will take no prisoners, God, what a show he will have.

So, Tim, I leave you this morning with the words you've said to me on so many occasions before big interviews and before big moments in my life…

Pal, go get 'em.

We invite you to share your thoughts about Tim Russert by posting your comments below, or by sending an e-mail to

For more on TODAY's tribute to Tim Russert, click here.