Some Ted Kennedy Links
• The piece he wrote for Newsweek on July explaining why health-care reform was "the cause of my life."
• Harold Meyerson's perfect, beautiful remembrance.
• Kennedy's speech before the 1980 Democratic Convention, in which he declared that "the dream shall never die."
• "The heavens have somehow conspired to make this Kennedy death, however expected it might have been, nearly as heartbreaking as those of his vigorous younger brothers," writes Mike Tomasky.
• The New Yorker digs through its archives and unlocks its many profiles and piece on Ted Kennedy.
• And finally, my favorite of all of Kennedy's speeches, his eulogy of his beloved brother, Robert F. Kennedy.
That speech is Ted Kennedy's voice speaking Robert Kennedy's words. It is one man echoing another. And it was Robert Kennedy, in turn, channeling so many more before him. In that, it is a fitting encapsulation of his life. Ted Kennedy was part of a tradition. A tradition that fought for social justice and equality, for decency and dignity, for peace between nations and for security within households. It did not begin with Ted Kennedy, and it does not end with him. The man may be irreplaceable. But the work can be carried on. At the end of that speech, Kennedy's voice cracks, and he says:
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.
Ted Kennedy did not wish his brother's hopes into being, or pray that a better world would manifest. He stood up and stepped forward into the tradition -- the tradition not only of his family, but of the social reformers who inspired, and then supported, them. The key fact of Kennedy's life was that he was born a Kennedy. But the key decision of his life was that he decided to do something with it, to echo those who had come before him, and to continue their work.
Posted by: rmgregory | August 26, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse
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