Anybody who was in the military or a military family has a certain sensitivity to the separation. Everyone knows military wives have the hardest jobs. I was born into one. When I think back to those days, I didn't appreciate it then.— Lester Holt
The most lavish Lester Holt quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
As Americans we rightfully place tremendous value on having a free and independent press. Our role as journalists is to give voice to the voiceless, and hold our leaders and institutions accountable. But the circle is only completed when that information is consumed by a free thinking and engaged audience.
On more than one occasion, the camera has cut to me after a break as I'm still trying to swallow the last bite of cookie. Those of you who have thought to yourselves, 'That guy talks like he has marbles in his mouth,' should know that they are not marbles, but oatmeal cookies.
One of the most important skills at [reporting] is not so much what comes out of your mouth but what you hear. To listen. When you interview people, it's very important to understand the nuances of what they're saying and to understand when they have actually made news-when they've told you something that they haven't told anybody else.
Mr. [Donald] Trump, for five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation's first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: The president was born in the United States.
I'll co-host TODAY from Los Angeles Saturday morning and then make my way up to Merced for that evening's graduation ceremony. I'm still touching up my remarks, but my challenge to the Class of 2010 will be to break through the deafening and too often negative echo chamber of the digital era and become critical and independent thinkers.
There are American citizens who have been inspired to commit acts of terror on American soil, the latest incident, of course, the bombings we just saw in New York and New Jersey, the knife attack at a mall in Minnesota, in the last year, deadly attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando.
I think we're more relevant than ever because it is such a noisy environment out there. What's a journalist now? It's anybody with a way to get information out and you're sitting there with your smartphone in front of you. That's what we're up against now. There's a lot of unfiltered information. Some of it is accurate, some of it way off base. We're that safe port in the storm.
You look at the Middle East, it's a total mess.
You look at the Middle East, you started the Iran deal, that's another beauty where you have a country that was ready to fall, I mean, they were doing so badly. They were choking on the sanctions. And now they're going to be actually probably a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they're going.
The challenge is right now, I call it the death of critical thinking in America.
It's a very worrisome development. More and more people seem to be resisting the idea of standing back and asking questions about something, challenging their beliefs.
At the end of the day, I'm reading the news.
I'm not digging ditches. I'm not fighting fires. It's a long day, and it's a lot of responsibility, and it can be a little bewildering sometimes with the schedule. But, you know, it's a job, and they pay me well to do a job.
You have to go where the story is to report on it.
As a journalist, you're essentially running to things that other people are running away from.
I like to report. I like to go to the newsmakers. I like to get out. I've heard about people talking about the anchor as the voice of god. That set is not an altar. It's a great job, I love doing it, but I don't take that role as my identity - the anchorman - it sounds very old-fashioned.
Candidates [Hillary Clinton and Donald trump], we look forward to hearing you articulate your policies and your positions, as well as your visions and your values.
Race has been a big issue in this [presidency] campaign .
There are two economic realities in America in 2016.
There's been a record six straight years of job growth, and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation. However, income inequality remains significant, and nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
I don't expect us to cover all the issues of this campaign  tonight, but I remind everyone, there are two more presidential debates scheduled. We are going to focus on many of the issues that voters tell us are most important, and we're going to press for specifics.
The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it's been in decades, much of it amplified by shootings of African-Americans by police, as we've seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in 2016 campaign.
The biggest thing I worry about is the unsubstantiated story.
You have to tell the people what you know -- and acknowledge what you don't know.
I think sometimes we lose sight of how powerful we are when we put someone on the news - for good or bad. It can really change people's lives.
Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.
You never know what doors are going to open up and why they are going to open up. You've got to be ready to walk through them.
I am honored to have this role [of the moderator], but this evening belongs to the candidates and, just as important, to the American people.