Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy ~ Powerful Words of Hope and Struggle

*reprinted from May 2008*
I was ten years old the day Robert Kennedy died. I did not know that forty years later, the words I heard then, coming from the black and white television as I sat silently watching with my parents, would profoundly affect me today. Many of you surely remember the same.



"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."


(Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy 1963)



Two years before his death on June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy addressed an audience of university students in Cape Town, South Africa. I keep a vintage book of his speeches, including this one, on a table in my living room. Parts of it were later quoted by his brother, Edward "Ted" Kennedy, and became part of his eulogy......."Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance......."



Whatever your political affiliation or beliefs, I challenge you to lay them aside for just awhile and listen to a man who for a moment of time stood over the casket of his brother and delivered a eulogy of hope.
To me, they are as moving today as on the day they were spoken in St. Patrick's Cathedral on June 8, 1968.

They still bring me ripples of hope.

Please listen.








"Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live."


Edward "Ted" Kennedy

November 7, 1962 - August 25, 2009
Rest in peace.




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Image: Public Domain

14 comments:

Cheysuli and gemini said...

Thank Mimi for a wonderful tribute to a very great man.

teabird said...

amen.

fishingaround said...

Ditto.

Obviously he was the most gorgeous of the three brothers.

jennifer said...

Prayers for his family.

katherine. said...

He did give a very moving tribute to his brother Bobbie....

Starrlight said...

Agree with his politics or not, Ted Kennedy was a politician who was not afraid of change.

Svem said...

"each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation"

Put me in my place eh? :)
Thanks

Charles Gramlich said...

The Kennedys were certainly an amazing clan.

Bond said...

He never wavered in his quest to ensure the people with less were not forgotten.

The Gal Herself said...

It's funny, but I guess the Kennedy brother who made the smallest impression on my imagination seems to have made the greatest impression on my day-to-day life.

Bobby taught me about a person's capacity for change. JFK really was a profile in courage. Valuable and influential. (I have a photo of Bobby on my bulletin board as we speak.)

Teddy was a force behind COBRA and HIPPA and the Mental Health Parity Act. God bless him.

Jamie said...

Beautifully written. The legislation that carried his influence is a list in the hundreds. There is literally not a single person in the US whose very day to day life and in many ways safety and welfare of themselves or their children who does not owe a debt of gratitude to this man and his ability to work with all factions of the Senate.

Mimi Lenox said...

Well said, All. An amazing legacy.

Walk in the Woods said...

Ashe. Ashe.

LADYHIGHTOWER said...

"And once there was a spot,twill never be forgot...Camelot." For surely, in the end, he was a prince among men.

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