Monthly Archives: August 2009
It has taken all day for me to even begin to process the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy. I was lucky to be able to see “the Lion” in-person on a number of occasions and those memories and images have been buzzing through my mind all day.
I have a vivid memory of watching Teddy during the 2002 “Fighting for Families” bus tour in support of gubernatorial candidate Shannon O’Brien and Sen. John Kerry as he gave an impromptu and rousing speech to striking labor workers somewhere in western Massachusetts. I recall that his speech began in a low whisper and the crowd quieted to hear his words. As he continued to talk about the plight of the union members and the need for fair working conditions, it was if someone suddenly hit a switch and his voice became loud, animated and it rang throughout the crowd. On that occasion and a number of future encounters, I remember closing my eyes while Teddy spoke so I could just listen to his voice and that all-too-familiar Kennedy accent. The voice alone carried with it such a rich and important piece of the American experience.
Sadly, Teddy was forced to give many eulogies throughout his life and some remain among his most famous speeches. I have spent time today searching through them and I thought there would be no better way to eulogize him then to simply let the words that he offered when people needed to be comforted and given strength speak for themselves.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Rose Kennedy (Ted’s mother)
Robert F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
“We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years. We who have loved him from the day he was born, and watched the remarkable man he became, now bid him farewell.”
“On the morning of the day before the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Senator Ted Kennedy called the White…”August 26th, 2009 by Joshua Skaroff
On the morning of the day before the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Senator Ted Kennedy called the White House to inquire if it was appropriate to bring to the burial some earth from Arlington National Cemetery. The answer was essentially a shrug: Who knows? Unadvised, the senator carried a shopping bag onto the plane, filled with earth he had himself dug the afternoon before from the graves of his two murdered brothers. And at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, after waiting for the crowd and the cameras to disperse, he dropped to his hands and knees, and gently placed that earth on the grave of the murdered prime minister.
No spin, no photo op; a man unreasonably familiar with bidding farewell to slain heroes, a man in mourning, quietly making tangible a miserable connection.”
- Two Lions: When Ted Kennedy Privately Honored Yitzhak Rabin
Late last night, America lost Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy.
I hardly ever wake up during the night, but last night I woke up at about 2:30am and read the news on my Blackberry. I couldn’t get back to sleep – my head was reeling with personal memories, as well as the sheer impact that Sen. Kennedy’s loss will have on the country and the world.
However, at about 3:30am, I slowly drifted back to sleep, contemplating Teddy Kennedy’s epic role in American society and picturing the scene up in Hyannis Port, his family gathered around him, saying their final goodbyes. Then, I began to think past the earth…
Whether you believe in heaven or not, there is something really comforting about the thought of Teddy, Jack and Bobby sitting on a cloud, carefree, somewhere in the heavens, sipping on a cold summer drink. Those three have a lot to catch up on…
Rest in peace, Teddy Kennedy.
Here are some of my favorite Kennedy moments via YouTube:
Ted Kennedy Returns to the Senate Floor, July 9, 2008:
Democratic National Convention, August, 2008:
Ted Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama, January 28, 2008:
Ted Kennedy introduces John Kerry during Iowa Caucuses in January, 2004:
Ted Kennedy victory speech in November, 1994:
The Dream Will Never Die, Democratic National Convention, 1980:
More: Associated Press – Kennedy: Always in the public spotlight
- Beneath the Birther Toplines | TPM
I was on MSNBC yesterday talking health care with Liz Mair. Check out the clip: