A Beautiful Friendship

Senior producer Stu Schutzman traveled with Peter Jennings during the Bosnian war in 1994. He blogs about that day they met Eki Foco:

It was war, a chance encounter, and a game of kick the can which changed the course of a small Bosnian boy's life.

Sarajevo was the most dangerous place in the world in 1994. On a warmer than usual winter's day, Peter Jennings was out doing an interview on top of Sarajevo's historic Turkish fort, the perfect place to track the violence afflicting the city. In earshot of the interview a group of local boys began to play kick the can, making a racket.

I ran to shut them up: "OK, you guys, cut the racket.� One precocious 13-year-old snapped back in pretty good English, “Who’s gonna stop us?� It was Eki Foko, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Peter was totally taken by Eki, who explained that his mother taught him English before the war and his father was off somewhere fighting it. “I'm not scared,� he told Peter. He said wanted to be a pilot and more than anything he wanted to go to America.

The interview aired on World News Tonight on 2/7/94: [WATCH]

A couple living in California saw the interview, was equally taken by Eki, contacted Peter, and said they wanted to bring Eki and his family to the states.

Eki did come to America, went to high school, and joined the navy.

Today, in uniform, Eki Foco became an American. It was a rough road. He thanked his friend Peter Jennings. It was a beautiful friendship.

We've posted a video excerpt of tonight's piece: [WATCH]

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