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Maureen Orth credits the family's faith and the outpouring of love in coping with Tim's death

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 28, 2008 07:30 AM
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Maureen Orth, widow of Tim Russert, said on Monday’s Today show, “we’re doing great” – and credited the “outpouring of love” from both NBC and the public at large for getting her and son Luke through this period of mourning.

Orth, on the program to discuss her new Vanity Fair article about French first Lady Carla Bruni, also credited her family’s faith in helping deal with the loss of Russert.

Meanwhile, Buffalo, N.Y., is not forgetting favorite native son Russert, who is being honored by having a park and a highway named for him – with plans also afoot to rename the airport.

“There just seems to be a universal appreciation of what he meant to Buffalo and the pride he always showed in the city,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown tells The Washington Post. “He used almost every opportunity to promote his home town and to talk about the values he learned here.”

Among Brown’s edicts to pay tribute to the Meet the Press host – who died June 13 – was an order that all flags on city property be flown at half-staff and a proclamation naming Father’s Day for the newsman.

“Tim Russert will always be among the City of Buffalo’s greatest citizens and his memory will be honored in perpetuity.”

Two Buffalo parks are already named for the NBC newsman, and a statue of him stands before his alma mater, Canisius High School, the paper reports.

Last week, President Bush signed the swiftly passed bill S. 3145, renaming the stretch of U.S. Route 20A in front of the Buffalo Bills stadium the Timothy J. Russert Highway.

This week, the mayor and Russert’s sister, Kathy, will unveil signs reading Tim Russert Way in front of the house in which he grew up.

The airport re-naming is a grass-roots campaign that may take time, says The Post.

Something more immediate: the mayor’s plan to merge education programs for inner-city fathers and children under the new name of the Tim Russert Family Institute.

“That was such a big part of who he was,” says Brown.