August 26, 2009

"My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man..."

"... who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'"

Edward M. Kennedy, Address at the Public Memorial Service for Robert F. Kennedy, June 8, 1968.

7 comments:

LutherM said...

was over 40 years ago. I can talk to people who have no knowledge of the trouble the United States had in 1968, with demonstrations in the streets, a war in Asia that would eventually cost over 50,000 dead Americans, a President, "landslide Lyndon", whose support and micromanagement of the war contributed to the U.S. failure; then add to the unpopular war the continued agitation for better conditions by Blacks, farm laborers - culminating in the attempts to burn down the cities after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., followed later by the Chicago Police attacking the young demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention.
Listening to Robert F. Kennedy, I became convinced that he cared about the United States, and that he might lead a solution to the problems, a bringing together of the country.
I am a Republican.
Bobby Kennedy was the only Democrat I ever signed up to campaign for.
I remember the night he was shot, the hope I had that he would live.

Teddy made a great speech at the Memorial Service for Robert F. Kennedy - Bobby deserved no less.

Florida said...

Mary Jo Kopechne, the daughter of an insurance salesman, was born in the village of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, on 26th July 1940. After graduating from Caldwell College for Women in New Jersey, she moved to Washington where she worked as a secretary for George Smathers and Robert Kennedy. During this time she shared an apartment with Nancy Carole Tyler, who worked for Bobby Baker.

On 17th July, 1969, Kopechne joined several other women who had worked for the Kennedy family at the Edgartown Regatta. She stayed at the Katama Shores Motor Inn on the southern tip of Martha's Vineyard. The following day the women travelled across to Chappaquiddick Island. They were joined by Edward Kennedy and that night they held a party at Lawrence Cottage. At the party was Kennedy, Kopechne, Susan Tannenbaum, Maryellen Lyons, Ann Lyons, Rosemary Keough, Esther Newburgh, Joe Gargan, Paul Markham, Charles Tretter, Raymond La Rosa and John Crimmins.

Kopechne and Edward Kennedy left the party at 11.15pm. Kennedy had offered to take Kopechne back to her hotel. He later explained what happened: "I was unfamiliar with the road and turned onto Dyke Road instead of bearing left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately a half mile on Dyke Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge.... The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt."

Instead of reporting the accident Edward Kennedy returned to the party.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKkopechne.htm

Balfegor said...

Listening to Robert F. Kennedy, I became convinced that he cared about the United States, and that he might lead a solution to the problems, a bringing together of the country.

He seems to have been very eloquent in his impromptu speech on the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Notwithstanding that he'd been the one to authorise warrantless wiretapping on King's telephones only a few years earlier, of course. And he's notable as the most egregious case of nepotism in modern American history -- who names his brother Attorney General, for heaven's sake?

But for all that, I think he was the best of the three of them. Smarter than the other two, and his personal life doesn't seem to have been nearly as tawdry as his brothers'. Monarchy-minded as I am, I think he would have made a good king.

President, I mean.

paul a'barge said...

Listening to Robert F. Kennedy, I became convinced that he cared about the United States

It was the drugs, Luther.

Most of us gave them up and we're past that now.

Chase said...

Still one of the most eloquent and movingly delivered eulogies ever recorded.

This conservative never cast a vote for any Kennedy. But life is more than the political positions we each hold dear, and even those we believe are not sharers of the same values we believe in are still flesh and blood with families left behind.

American Liberal Elite said...

“Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend.

“Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States Senator whose influence cannot be overstated. Many have come before, and many will come after, but Ted Kennedy’s name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber....

“In the current climate of today’s United States Senate it is rare to find opportunities where both sides can come together and work in the middle to craft a solution for our country’s problems. Ted Kennedy, with all of his ideological verbosity and idealism was a rare person who at times could put aside differences and look for common solutions. Not many ever got to see that side of him, but as peers and colleagues we were able to share some of those moments.

“Elaine and I express our deepest condolences to Ted’s beloved wife Vickie, and their extended family,” Hatch added. “I am hopeful that they will find peace and comfort in the memories and life they were able to share with this giant of a man....”

Senator Orrin Hatch

Balfegor said...

Ted Kennedy, with all of his ideological verbosity and idealism was a rare person who at times could put aside differences and look for common solutions.

This is certainly true (although I dislike the phrase "ideological verbosity" -- did Kennedy somehow stand for the ideological principle that more words = good?). There was all that over the No Child Left Behind Act. And the McCain-Kennedy immigration fiasco. I'm sure there are others. He was an ideologue and a man comfortable exploiting hatreds, jealousies, and fears; but in the end, he was not inflexible. He was pragmatic, and less reflexively partisan than most other politicians of the last two presidencies -- and in a position, mind, where he would have paid no price at all for extreme obstinacy. He wasn't forced to compromises by electoral circumstance.

There's a place for rigid and inflexible ideologues, like Sen. Feingold or Sen. Coburn, but to the extent one wants things to get done in the Senate (and for people like me, that's actually a pretty limited extent), Kennedy was probably one of the best there was. And he took his job seriously, in a way one wishes more Congressmen (and, er, other high elected officials) did today.