Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Memoriam

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy (1932-2009) will be formally remembered today. All kinds of tributes have been rendered since his passing this week. I'm not going to repeat all his accolades and his failures here. But I would be remiss if I did not mention an aspect of his legacy that pulls at me personally. When I think of Sen. Kennedy I can not help but think of hope; and the phrase that comes to mind is "what a difference a day makes".

Sen. Kennedy was a deeply flawed man. But to be honest that's how I like my heroes. People who are too good and too close to perfection seem beyond me. He was the spoiled youngest child of a privileged family. He got expelled from Harvard for cheating. Then there was that business at Chappaquidick. Quite frankly Sen. Kennedy behaved like an ass to Jimmy Carter when Carter defeated him for the Democratic nomination for president in the 80's. He was a party boy of privilege trying to find his way. He rather awkwardly tried to fill some very big shoes. Many people would have given in to riotous living and gotten comfortable with being the black sheep of the family. They would have wrapped themselves in the familiar cloak of mediocrity and lived there lives in the shadows, with regrets about all the promises of life left unfulfilled. But not Ted Kennedy.

One day he looked destined to history's ashe can and the next he set his purpose on things higher than himself. And the next day he was on the right path. He didn't wallow in his failures. He looked around saw wrong and put his energy into righting those wrongs. He was not a hypocrite. He was human. Recognizing his on humanity, he tried to do more good than bad. And really that's what we all should expect of one another.

Senator Kennedy will be remembered as a friend to the poor and the under served. He will be remembered as a first rate legislator. He will be remembered as a family man and a lover of dogs and sailing. He will be remembered fondly because one day he decided to dedicate himself to what he believed passionately. One day he took stock of his life and decided to embrace his best self in order serve the public good.
Thank you Senator Kennedy.

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