Saturday, August 29, 2009

R.I.P.: Senator Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy is being memorialized and buried today. He has had a troubled yet remarkable life. He seems to have been a man of contradictions: born into incredible wealth and privilege yet a champion of the poor and powerless. A white man who used his white privilege to champion on behalf of people of color and civil rights. An irresponsible womanizer who actually killed a woman due to vehicular negligence yet an inveterate supporter of women and gay rights throughout his senate career. The baby of the family forced to become its patriarch after the untimely deaths of his older brothers.

But perhaps what he is, most importantly, is someone who cared about family, as this moving speech by his eldest son, Edward Kennedy Jr. clearly demonstrates.

Rest in peace Senator Kennedy.

[For a particularly introspective and respectful yet honest assessment of Senator Kennedy's life, see Tenured Radical's post here]

1 comment:

edwin said...

So much of his “The Dream Shall Never Die” speech is relevant now. It makes me sad that so many Americans do not know how much it was really Senator Edward Kennedy that advanced the dreams of his brothers into reality. So many of us who want now to pick up the "fallen standard" need the example his life offers of HOW liberal ideals can be transformed into something real that betters the lives of our neighbors.

I put together some of the audio of the speech, accompanied it with images and ideas that highlight some of his accomplishments, and put it into a video. The following page also has information on the 6 (of 13 or a minority) Democratic senators in the Senate Finance Committee who have yet to pledge their support for the public option in the Kennedy Health Care bill.