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Favorites in Focus

Aired January 2, 2010 - 15:00   ET



Throughout this year, the fine photo journalists here at CNN have given us a wonderful collection of stories all told with nothing but a microphone and a camera. That is what the in focus series has been all about. We've taken in many topics from employment, environment to the military to medicine. We thought this would be a great time to revisit some of our favorites and yours, too.

It was hard work picking them out so it's fitting that we start with our stories about work, about jobs that have lasted for generations despite hard times. Indeed, time itself was the subject that drew photo journalist Jeremy Moorhead to Northern Virginia.


DONNY SOBEL, CLOCKMAKER: The clock shop of Vienna used to be a sleepy little town. Now it's the one you tend to avoid at rush hour. What's your clock doing wrong?

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): When you wind it, it usually as I remember, it goes about seven or eight days. It's only going about four.

SOBEL: You gave this five half turns. Notice it's still got room to turn.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I've never done this.

SOBEL: Eight, nine, now it's fully wound.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Son of a gun.

FOREMAN: We established this story in 1973. Essentially the family has run this business since its inception.

SOBEL: It's hard to think of myself as unique, but I guess I'm one of the last people around that still makes parts for old clocks. Somebody says are you still doing it the way it used to be done? We kind of, we were the way it used to be done. We are clock makers. Most of what we do is repair or replace or refinish parts that have worn in an old clock.

You can't buy parts off the shelf for these so anything that you make or anything that you need other than a piece of glass or a chain or a cable is going to be created from scrap. There is the old and new. They'll go back in here. There are less and less people doing this. This place is like a toy store for us. Ryan is my competitor. His father-in-law owned a clock shop in Alexandria.

RYAN JOHNSON, CLOCKMAKER: It's critical that you seek out knowledgeable people.

SOBEL: Ryan asked if he could come in to pick up some pointers. What Tony Saguto, my mentor, taught me? This has to come apart before you can clean it.

JOHNSON: Ninety percent of the previous generation of clock makers, the high-skill level ones have not had an opportunity to have somebody come up behind them and stick with it.

SOBEL: It's a nice feeling to know that all these things are running because you've done something to help them go. Thank you for visiting the clock shop where all we have is time.


FOREMAN: According to one account, Christian Frederick Martin's grandfather invented the guitar in Germany way back in the 17th century. That may or may not be true, but many musicians insist the modern guitar was perfected by the company C.F. Martin started 175 years ago in a small town in Pennsylvania where photo journalist Chris Turner found six generations of devotion to quality can pay off in so many ways.


CHRISTIAN F. MARTIN, IV, MARTIN GUITARS: People spoke German, they cook German food. The rolling hills reminded them of the Saxony where they came from. Magic is known for two things, the Martin guitar and the famous racing Andretti's. We are known by many as the guitar by which all others are judged.

It's an instrument that has become part of American music; part of world music, and my family was involved in the development of the American flat top steel string guitar. There are factories in Asia that make as many guitars in one month as we do in one year.

GEORGE MALCHANEY, FINAL INSPECTOR: I think just the perseverance of the family alone to withstand world wars and depressions and continue to make and invent new things about the guitar has been priceless.

WILLARD "BUDDY" SILVIUS, NECK FITTER: Some units require a little bit more work than others. The quality of the materials and the quality of the workmanship. The smallest detail we take and make it perfect.

MARTIN: What amazes me about what he did is he did it all without any power tools. It was all done by hand, and the best we can do today is making a guitar that's just as good as the guitars he made. It's a tool. Like any craft person, if they're dedicated and they can afford it, they want the best tool to help them ply their trade, and we've been very fortunate that so many famous musicians have decided to take their hard-earned money, walk onto a music store and buy a Martin guitar.

MALCHANEY: Basically you never know if Eric Clapton or somebody six months from now might be playing the guitar you just worked on.

SILVIUS: Once you take it off, you can't put it back on.

MARTIN: The guitar is to complement the singer. It's really not supposed to overshadow the person playing it. I can't tell you the number of people I've met who tell me that the Martin guitar they own is the best one we ever made.


FOREMAN: One of the most enduring of all professions is enjoying a strong comeback in these tough times, shoe repairmen, cobblers. In North Attleboro, Massachusetts, Bob Crowley caught up with one, Ron Hassell who picks his shoes in the same shop where his grandfather worked just as his grandfather did.


RON HASSELL, COBBLER: I'm a cobbler. People don't know what that is. Shoe repair technician, I tell them. I used to be the youngest that I knew of when I started when I was 20. There were all old guys doing it. I'm close to 50 now. I'm still probably one of the youngest around. I worked with my grandfather. He did this; I want to say 100 years, but not quite. This shoe I don't want to tackle. I tried to talk the guy out of fixing it. Believe it or not it will look brand- new when I'm done.

I had this machine take my shirt off one time. I got too close, pulled the shirt right off me. Some guys get a favorite pair of shoes; you can tell this guy wore this one to death. They want to keep them at all costs. It's a niche business. People who use cobblers use cobblers. People who don't, don't. It's definitely picked up since last year. Maybe there are more and more people now using cobblers that didn't before because of the economy. There you go.

Better than I thought they were going to come out. The shoe runs about $125, maybe a little bit more. For $12.50, you can have new heels put on. You can't throw that shoe away. It makes economic sense to me. I know it's cool when customers get happy.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): They're beautiful.

HASSELL: You get that all the time and it makes you feel good. We just did the corners for you. You're doing something and your appreciated it.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Don't go out of business now. Have a good day.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FOREMAN: When we come back, the streets are not paved with gold but with green. For the man called Mister Jalopy.

And later on the battlefront friends and enemies and the tale of one man who left his homeland only to fight against it.


(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Your best friend who Nifty (ph) was your best friend suddenly won't talk to you anymore.


FOREMAN: And IN FOCUS continues.


FOREMAN: For our program on green solutions, our photojournalists turned their lenses on the environment and on the many inventive ways that people have found to help it along. Not terribly far from our nations capital. You are out on the beautiful and historic Chesapeake Bay, pollution and over fishing have left many native species in trouble. The famous blue crab population for example has been pushed to record lows. So Jeremy Moorhead was intrigued by one eco-friendly foundation trying to reverse that trend one oyster at a time.


TOMMY LEGGETT, CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION: We've got the best raw bar in Washington. Everything we carry is northern cold water sourced. Farm raised, cultivated in the ocean in protected coves.

Oysters are a keystone species; they are one of the most important species in the Chesapeake Bay. They are filtering water, they are providing habitat. So many food webs that depend and rely on oysters. My name is Tommy Leggett; I've been working on the water since 1982. My day job is working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as the Virginia Oyster Restoration and Fishery Scientist. We grow about 50,000 oysters a year for restoration. We are going to pressure wash a few cages.

Each oyster cage has about 2,000 oysters in it. Each one of these oysters in those bags can filter about 50 gallons of water per day. All we're doing here is making moms and dads to serve as a baby-making machine for more oysters to help jump-start reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay. At one time it's estimated that the oyster population in Chesapeake Bay could filter the volume of water in the bay in a matter of days. Check them out and see how they are doing. All the critters in these bags would not be here if it weren't for the Oyster Bay.

These fish provide food for bigger fish. It's a giant food web. No oyster left behind. We don't restore oysters; we are not going to restore the bay. I think people more and more are becoming aware of their surroundings and what they have to do to make it better for everybody and future generations, as well.


FOREMAN: Sometimes man-made things can use resurrection, too. In Mr. Jalopy's workshop you can find plenty of gadgets that have been reworked in unexpected ways to make them fulfill utterly new purposes. Once just a back yard hobby the maker movement has turned into a viable environmentally-friendly way of living for this gadget man, who told photojournalist John Torigoe, if it's broken, do fix it.


I'm Mr. Jalopy, the proprietor of Coco's Variety. This is my personal workshop where I run my businesses; build the machines that I dream up. The hands-off era is over. Landfills fill with cheap broken vacuums. Maybe this stuff should be reparable. It's reasonable that an individual should be able to do that. It makes green sense. It makes financial sense and it just makes good sense. When this Farnsworth radio cabinet originally showed up in somebody's house all the neighbors came over to see it, but I wanted to update it to what would make sense in my life now.

So it's got a computer in it. It syncs up to the iPod. I'm not a collector of any single thing. I'm looking broadly for pocket knives, bicycles and old car parts, mechanical gauges. My favorite stuff that I find along the way are the things that are worn by human hands. The best object I ever got is this lowly Skippy jar. It's all the earthly treasures of a kid in the '50s. This is my urban gorilla drive-in movie theater. The maker movement brought together a bunch of disparate groups of people that were doing interesting making, electronics or crafting.

I wrote an article called "The Maker's Bill of Rights." If you can't open it, then you don't own it. You need to be able to modify, hack, repair, rebuild and reuse the stuff that you buy. I think that's the great thing about the maker movement is that it is a group of passionate individuals that are willing to make those mistakes. Uh-oh. And build the stuff of our dreams.


FOREMAN: In a moment, the warmth of strangers telling troops, "Welcome Home."

And overcoming obstacles, the request for healthy living.


BALDWIN: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. With a quick look at some of the day's top stories. Out of Pakistan where 90 deaths are confirmed after yesterday's terror attack in the northwest area of the country. Police say a car bomb exploded near an outdoor volleyball game. Nearby homes were leveled. The attack occurred near the Afghanistan border in an area where government troops had been fighting Taliban militants. President Obama officially on the record today linking al Qaeda to last week's terror attack on flight 253. In his weekly radio address released today, the president says that there is in fact evidence linking Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He says everyone responsible will be held accountable.

In Brazil, talk about water and flooding. Look at this emergency crews searching for survivors in the rubble of two separate mudslides. Officials say at least 51 people have been killed. These mudslides here were triggered by ten inches of rain that fell on the area since Wednesday.

As for us in the U.S., seeing a little bit of snow. Jacqui Jeras, especially what, Maine area?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Northern New England really getting the brunt of this storm. It's going to be impacting everyone in the northeast, even the mid-Atlantic from Washington, D.C., northward. We are going to see some windy conditions here. So the heavy snow in the interior central Maine 8 to 16 inches expected, Portland more like, maybe 4 to 8, 3 to 6 for you in Boston. Not much more than flurries in the New York City.

Our other big story that will be the bitter cold temperatures across the upper Midwest. Look at these wind chills still in the 20s below zero in Winnipeg. A lot of holiday travelers still out there. We have a lot of delays because of that northeastern storm. Over an hour in Boston, JFK, Newark, over an hour as well as San Francisco. Tomorrow's map, that storm in the northeast is going to sit there and spin and linger. It's a slow-moving system. Won't get out of there until late Monday.


BALDWIN: I did get a text from my brother at least he is on the plane from Portland, Maine. Thank you. I want to take you back to our special presentation of FAVORITES IN FOCUS.


FOREMAN: Hard times can bring out the best in so many people in so many unexpected places. That's what we found when our team turned their cameras to the subject of giving. One such place was the wilds of New Jersey, where photo journalist Jung Park found a surprising example.


HELENE G. MESSNER, DIR. NORWESCAF FOOD BANK: Hunters helping the hungry provide a valuable service to us at the food bank in our request to aid and hunger relief we are always looking for a good variety of nutritious food. The venison that we get from Giese and the other hunters is invaluable to our agency.

LES GIESE, FOUNDER, HUNTERS HELPING THE HUNGRY: Hunters help the hungry is entirely volunteers, people who enjoy hunting, the outdoor sports, and we are trying to do some good, provide much-needed protein to the hungry people across New Jersey. That's all we're about.

SISTER M. MICHAELITA, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, WARREN BASIC MATERIAL: Our clients are grateful to the hunters helping the hungry. We have many clients that come in and I can say every client that leaves our building with their bags of food, particularly see the venison, they are extremely grateful to the hunters.

GIESE: The first step in the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program is the hunters donating their time and money to harvest deer. This is at least 100 pounds, maybe 120. It will dress out 40, maybe 50 pounds of venison for the hungry.

JOHN PERSON, BUTCHER, OWNER, GAMEBUTCHER: When the hunter harvests the deer, he will bring it to our establishment here. We'll wrap it and put it in a box and the Norwest Cap Food Bank will take the frozen venison to their establishment.

MICHAELITA: Our aim has always been to provide as much nutritious food as possible and venison is a great example of a food that is high in protein, low in fat, and it's the kind of food we want to promote as a healthy alternative to our clients.

GIESE: We're happy to do this. It makes us feel good. We're giving back. It's very enjoyable to be out here and do this.

MESSNER: We are so grateful to Les Giese and others who support this program, and I wish them tremendous success and I hope that they continue to do this for many years to come because we know what an impact it has on people in need in our community, and we think it's a wonderful program.


FOREMAN: Many people want to help with thousands of veterans who have been returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, yet they are not sure quite how to do that. The secret is to apply the gifts you have. That's what quilters all across the country are doing. And John Bena met one such group spreading warmth from New York to Maryland.


CHRISTINA POWELL, QUILTS MEMBER: This is my stash. I have a lot of pinks, purples. These are neutrals. This is my sewing machine. These are all threads. It's been love at first sight. I have been quilting probably about 25 years. For me it's, you know, its mental restoration place. I'll just walk in my sewing room and pick up something. I'd rather be quilting.

In the soldiers quilts there is a lot of gratefulness and thankfulness that somebody is actually is protecting my freedom. Where these quilts are going, they were injured somehow. OK. There we go. I don't like seeing so many young people go away and come back wounded. You put the loop here and you go underneath it there. Unfortunately, right now, it's just a fact of life. I try to do what I can. You're going to do that corner. We are going to do these two. This is the finished quilt. I'm going to fold it so we can pack it in the box. Are the Afghans going to go this time?

PAT TERRY, QUILTS FOR INJURED SOLDIERS: Yes. This particular quilt for soldier's projects has distributed over 9,000 quilts. That's a lot of injured soldiers.

I collect the quilts and pack them up and send them down to the person in Maryland who distributes them to either Bethesda or Andrews Air Force Base.

PFC JONATHAN WINKER, WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD: My name is Jonathan Winker. I'm coming from Iraq. I have been in the National Guard for three years. This is my first deployment. My father served in the Marine Corps as well as my uncle. Makes me feel pretty good that I can do something that I enjoy doing and I can help other people at the same time. I think it's a great way to say thank you to the wounded soldiers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was made especially for you.

WINKER: It looks like a lot of time went into that. It's amazing. Thank you for your service to our country. This is a small token of appreciation for all you have been through. My prayers for you are contained in this quilt. This will probably go into my bedroom so it's close to me all the time.

POWELL: Our servicemen need to know it is not just their family and friends supporting them. There is a whole country rooting for them and I'm one of them.


FOREMAN: Many people give of themselves to help animals, but this next story is the tale of an extraordinary dog that has given so much to us. In the days after 9/11, this German Sheppard named "Trakr" proved immensely valuable in helping find people buried in the rubble of the attacks. This past year Trakr died, but not before his trainer won a contest to have him cloned. Out in southern California, photo journalist John Torigoe, introduces us to these dogs that will hopefully continue Trakr's impressive record of giving.


JAMES SYMINGTON, TEAM TRAKR FOUNDATION: We arrived at Ground Zero within 14 hours of the towers collapsing. Canine resources were in short supply and we immediately began searching for survivors. Sometime late on the morning of September 12th, Trakr got a hint indicating that somebody alive was buried beneath the surface.

These rescue workers later pulled a woman, the last survivor, from the rubble and I'm extremely proud of the role that Trakr played in her recovery. Trakr initially was trained as a police dog, trained to find live people, evidence and drugs. He helped locate hundreds of people, recovered over $1 million worth of stolen goods. But, the culmination of his amazing career is finding the last survivor at Ground Zero.

When I first met Trakr and we first started working together, cloning wasn't even an option, so it wasn't even a consideration until one day I happened to see a TV report and they were talking about a cloning contest.

Bioworks International was a company that was responsible for the cloning contest. In June, I received not one, but five amazing replicas of Trakr.

Come. Come. Good boys.

I tried to choose a name to pay tribute to who Trakr was. There's Trust, who's very focused. Solace, who's extremely curious. There's Valor, who is extremely courageous. Prodigy, who's the problem solver, extremely intelligent. And then there is Deja Vu, who is a cuddler, he's the lover of the group. All extraordinary dogs.

Meeting those puppies for the first time was amazing, it was moving, but it was also bittersweet. Because sadly, Trakr passed away in April peacefully at her home at the age of 16.

I respect that cloning is not for everyone.

Let's go.

I train, foster and rescue dogs and I strongly encourage anybody who can provide a good home for a dog to go out and adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue group.

This is Trust, he's the oldest.

Team Trakr is not about holding on to the past, it is about continuing the legacy. I've launched the Team Trakr Foundation.

Come. Good boy. Sit.

An international, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing elite canine search and rescue groups to the United States and around the world. In essence, canine teams without borders. The launching of the Team Trakr Foundation is simply my way of continuing an extraordinary journey of one remarkable dog, and I owe Trakr that.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Trakr, but I don't know if the puppies contribute to that or not. I just think he always had and always will have a special place in my heart. And these puppies, they're certainly going to complement that.


FOREMAN: When we return, health care reform up close and very personal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn't know if he was going to live or die.


FOREMAN: With profound results. Stay with us.


FOREMAN: Our IN FOCUS photojournalists took on some tough topics this past year, including the one that had everybody talking -- health care. Health care is about more than just medicine and forms and insurance, of course. It's often about a whole approach to life, meeting obstacles, overcoming them no matter what challenges life brings. Photojournalist, Bethany Swain has a unique story of people here in Washington living healthy no matter what might get in their way.


SUSIE RICHARD, DIRECTOR, OPEN CIRCLE THEATER: Hang on, I'm trying to be an interpreter too. The idea behind Open Circles is that we showcase professional artists with disabilities. Do you understand what I'm saying? No. OK.

This idea that we had played around turned out it really needed to be there in the community.

What I'd like to do first is a vocal warm-up. My name is Susie Richard.

We're usually pretty proud of the product. All of the actors tend to learn a lot about helping each other out. I'm actress and director and artistic director of Open Circle Theater. I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is also known as Brittle Bones Disease.

It's way too tight. Look at how tight it is for the wheelchairs to come in that way.

About 20 to 40,000 people just in the country that have it, kind of like osteoporosis for your whole life but a lot more complicated.


Fourth of four children, I was pretty much expected to do what everyone else was, although according to my brother not as many chores as everyone else. I had to have rods put in my leg bones to just sort of act as an infrastructure under the bone because the bone wasn't very good.

Having a family that was able to deal with it helped a lot. Having really great medical care helped a lot. I'm retired on disability because I'm too sick to work. Now I'm back on Medicare through social security.

So, I can have them on stage?

I still have a limit on how much I can make. So, I don't own any property because I'm not allowed to. My car is also my parents' car.

Let's get in places.

If I start doing well, I get nervous because am I going to lose my benefits? I sincerely believe that people with disabilities, if you want them to be at all a useful part of the society, you need to have medical care that you don't have to worry about having.

Well, then, clearly, if you want people in general to be a useful part of society, they need to have medical care. You never know what's going to come up with my body but you never know what's going to come up with your body either.

I think definitely that theater is the thing that has kept me sane, so to speak. And that has helped a lot and just being able to express myself and help other people express themselves is really important.


FOREMAN: Many people within the traditional health care industry are doing everything they can to make the system work. In southern California, photojournalist, Gabe Ramirez, tells us the story of a woman who discovered a guardian angel working in a corporate office.


DEBBIE THORNHILL, CHRISTOPHER'S MOTHER: My oldest son, Christopher, was in a car accident on September 6, 2007. He was driving his car and lost control and suffered a traumatic brain injury with several broken bones. It was the scariest time of my life. And to see him suffering like that was devastating.

And then to also have to worry about his care and is he going to get what he needs? Will they just send him home because we don't have the financial means? Huge things to have to think about.


Almost two years later, he still requires therapy.


The insurance company sent me letters that Chris could have something called a case coordinator.

PAM HOYTT, RN, CARE MANAGER: My name is Pam Hoytt and I'm a nurse care manager at HealthNet. Debbie is a mom of five children. She was frightened. She didn't know if he was going to live or die. She didn't know what sort of aftermath they would be dealing with. D THORNHILL: There was a sense of relief that this person was actually trying to help me. Was not trying to help her company find a way out of all these expenses.

HOYTT: I would help her to be in control of his medical life and their family life.

D THORNHILL: She seriously is a friend now. I would consider her one of my best friends. She really was genuinely concerned about my son's recovery. The day my son, Christopher, came home from the hospital, he was totally different than he is now. I mean, he just couldn't do anything for himself at all. And it was like -- it was like having a big, heavy 19-year-old infant, you know, who's combative.

GABE RAMIREZ, PHOTO JOURNALIST: So how are you feeling these days?


RAMIREZ: Feeling good?


RAMIREZ: At what point did you start, you know, remembering things again?

C THORNHILL: Yesterday. I remember yesterday.

D THORNHILL: If you ask him straight-on, Chris, do you remember this, he'll say no. But then if you're just talking about something that happened, he'll start talking about it with you, because the memory is there.

RAMIREZ: But he's come a long way, I here.

D THORNHILL: A whole long way, yes.

C THORNHILL: (INAUDIBLE) a vegetable and it ain't me.


Pam meets the family for the first time.


HOYTT: Chris? Oh, God. You're making me cry.

C THORNHILL: Don't cry. Oh, please don't cry.

HOYTT: You are not. Are you Debbie? Oh, gosh.

D THORNHILL: There were days where I just need a shoulder, you know? And I knew I could call her. She's seen me through some of my darkest days, that's for sure, and on to some much better ones.


FOREMAN: If you want to follow all the new and exciting things we'll be doing in 2010 with IN FOCUS go to Facebook and become a fan.

From small towns to the biggest of cities, people are experimenting with their own ideas about health care. And up in New York, Deborah Brunswick followed an unusual doctor on his low-cost rounds where he never has to worry about his next meal.


DR DAVID ORES, STARTED HEALTH CARE CO-OP: I like motorcycles because it's like a rollercoaster that goes anywhere.

Most doctors don't have motorcycles or tattoos or do not-for- profit work. And that's kind of sad, because it's really fun.

My name is Dr. David Ores and I've been practicing medicine since 1987.

Here today to talk for a couple of minutes about the restaurant Health Care Cooperative -- which is health care for all of guys.

I started the Health Care Cooperative six, eight months ago. It's a little local community health system that provides not for profit health care for people who work in restaurants. Restaurants, that is the owners and management, contribute a small amount of money every month into a common fund. And then that fund is used to treat the workers and staff with any kind of medical issue or problem they have.

Hey, it's Dr. Dave.

BILLY GILROY, RESTAURANT OWNER: We want to take care of our people, but financially, we're only capable of doing so much.

This is so affordable. It's like such a win-win that we are really excited about it because you feel like you're being part of something that could really change things.

CHRIS MACPHERSON, RESTAURANT WORKER: Not your cliche doctor, I suppose. But obviously, he cares a lot about his patients.

ORES: Is that painful doing that?

MACPHERSON: The hospitality industry is a big industry, a big part of New York City. So, it's great that somebody sort of looking out for their backs.

ORES: The last 10 to 15 years, I've seen lots of people from these places who have no help, they have nowhere to go, no one to turn to. Somebody needs to help them and probably lots of other people, too. But you've got to start somewhere.

I think the idea of not-for-profit is what I'm getting out there. The fact this is restaurant workers is one thing, but this not-for- profit notion could work in any industry.

I think it is special and I think it is great. But it disheartens me that it is those things. It really should not be special. It should not be great. It should be the way things work.


FOREMAN: When IN FOCUS continues, the last song and the man who plays it all the time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so much more than a song. It's a prayer. It's a thank you. It's a farewell.



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin with a check of some of our top stories. First up, a Somali man is charged with trying to

Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin with a check of some of our top stories a Somali man is charged with trying to assonate a Danish artist known for drawing a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. Authorities say he broke into the artist's home in Denmark armed with an ax and a knife. Police did show up and they say the man was shot and wounded when he attacked the officers.

The U.S. military says there were no American combat deaths in Iraq for the month of December. That is the first month with no U.S. combat fatalities there since the Iraq war began.

And sorry some of you, no booze at tomorrow night's football game between the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets' organization has banned alcohol sale because of the potential for rowdiness, they say. This is the Jets' final home game at the Meadowlands Stadium, set to be demolished at the end of the season.

And, Jacqui Jeras, I guess they will just find another way to stay warm. Bundle up, I guess.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right. They have the gloves, the scarf, put it all on. Yeah, it's really going to be cold all weekend long across the northeast. And windy conditions to boot, so that certainly makes it a lot worse.


BALDWIN: Wow. That's when you know it's cold. All right, Jacqui, thank you. We want to take you now back to our special presentation "Favorites in Focus."

FOREMAN: With so many young Americans serving in two overseas wars and so many of our photo journalists having spent their own time on the battlefronts, our salute to veterans was heartfelt. Veterans can tell extraordinary stories of experiences on the battlefront, many not so much about the fighting as about the difficult decisions they faced on life and death and trying to find some kind of harmony in terrible times. Photojournalist John Torigoe went to Utah to hear the song of a long, lost war.


JACK TOOLER, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST: I have a 70-year-old trumpet. It's been with me on all my combat missions, all through World War II. I never went any place without it.

Here we are. Marjorie Rogers. She and I have been married now 68 years. We finally got this P-47. It was a dream to fly. That's why I named it after my first daughter, Roseanne. I would love to have it. I loved that little girl.

I took it in a little canvas bag, tied to my parachute. I figured if I got shot down, it would go with me. Covering the beaches, we saw two million men, 10,000 ships. We had 3,000 feet altitude and just shot at everything we could. And we witnessed the invasion from a ringside seat. And I remember feeling pride and sadness as I saw the bodies, 4,000 killed in two hours on D-Day.

Two weeks after d-day, we were the fighter squadron on a strip that was built there after a bad day attack on this German Panzer division, seeing innocent civilians massacred. They were held up on top of the tanks that why I had to play that night. As I took my trumpet out of the canvas bag at 10:00 that night and there was still one German sniper.

I thought to myself that German sniper said he's as lonely and scared as I am. How can I stop him from firing? So, I played that German's love song, "Lily Marlaen." I whaled that trumpet over those apple orchards in Normandy and he didn't fire.

The next morning, here came the military police up. And the military police said Captain, there's a German prisoner down on the shore and he keeps saying, "who played that trumpet last night." It was the 19-year-old German and he cried, he said, "I couldn't fire." He stuck out his hand and I shook the hand of the enemy. He was no enemy because music had soothed the savage beast.

My ambition as the last action on my part, as a veteran, is to hit high sea and fall right into the grave.


FOREMAN: Many veterans speak with mixed emotions about the enemies they fought, and yet, relatively few have faced the kind of conflict that confronted a man in Los Angeles, a Jewish boy in World War II who fled his home country of Germany only to find that his war was just beginning. Photojournalist Gabe Ramirez has his remarkable story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THOMAS TUGEND, WWII VETERAN: I was born in Germany. We were I guess upper middle class and it was a very good life. Changed in 1933 when Hitler came into power. My father was a rather well-known pediatrician. He could no longer take non-Jewish patients. The sudden change at 33 came as a tremendous shock. Your best friend who yesterday was your best friend suddenly won't talk to you anymore.

My father had been a World War I veteran, a captain in the German army. I think it really broke him spiritually and physically. For my father it was really a heartbreaking experience. The German Jews always thought this was a temporary aberration that the German people you know would come to their senses. They simply couldn't believe it and that's why so many of them got caught and didn't get out when they had a chance.

My family came over as refugees in 1939. When I wanted to join the U.S. Army I thought I had to you know convince them that -- that I was on the American side, not the German side. I subsequently was assigned to an infantry unit, 254th Regimen and saw action in Germany and France.

GABE RAMIREZ, PHOTOJOURNALIST: Was it a surreal experience for you, the first time you met your enemy, which used to be your neighbor?

TUGEND: That's a good question. I think I was not conscious of it as long as I was just a guy, an infantry man. We were shooting at them, they were shooting at us and that's all you think about.

I had a personal reason for fighting against the Nazis that you know most another Americans didn't. There are a number of instances in my life where by all the odds, I should have been killed. It just gives me a sense of the utter random chance of life.


FOREMAN: There may be nothing more emotionally powerful for the families of veterans than the sound of "Taps" being played at their funerals. These days scarcity of bugle players who will take on the job means it's most often a recording, but not if one man up in New York is around. CNN's Debra Brunswick gives us the final salute and that's what we leave you with on behalf of all of the excellent photojournalists here at CNN, thanks for watching.



I've been a musician since the age of seven.

I'm still a musician, but I spend most of my days playing just one piece.

My name is Lou DiLeo. I'm the bugler for the New York Military Forces Honor Guard. Traditionally, "Taps" has been played at military funerals since some time in the Civil War.

It's mostly a recording now because of the amount of funerals that we are going though. With the veterans dying at a rate of 1,000 a day, there's just not enough personnel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a veteran, I really enjoyed live "Taps." For a bugler to be able to come in and provide that live is really important.

DILEO: I was recently at one of my relatives' funerals. He was buried with a recording and I said, I have to do something about this. I contacted the New York Military Forces Honor Guard and I offered my services.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Mr. DiLeo, you hear the feeling, you hear every note. With a recording, it's just -- it's very bland.

DILEO: Musically, it's a very simple song. But, it's so much more than a song. It's a prayer. It's a thank you. It's a farewell.

There's nothing fun about playing "Taps" at a funeral, but there is a pride in knowing that you've done something that's helped bring closure to a family and helped honor the veterans. Even I get emotional when I think about it.