Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Senate's Lion

Kurin woke me up very early this morning to tell me that Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) had passed away. My husband knows that I find it very important to know when famous persons pass on especially a Kennedy.
I obviously didn't know Senator Kennedy but who didn't know of Teddy Kennedy? The youngest member of probably the most famous and powerful family in this countrie's recent history. From the pictures, he was an adorable little boy, a handsome young man and a long-standing fixture in the Senate of the United States.
I am very saddened to learn of his death. He has always been around. If you want something solid to look at in our government, it was Senator Kennedy. He is really the only Kennedy that my generation was familiar with aside from JFK Jr.
Senator Kennedy was a man who fought for civil rights, women's rights, workers rights, education reform (no child left behind), health care reform and the rights of the disabled among so many other righteous causes. He was a powerful man and did his job with the gusto that many lack.
I admire Senator Kennedy so very much. He was such an accomplished man even in the face of tragedy after tragedy in his family and even when facing scandal.

Being the support of his, for lack of a better word, ginormous family when his 2 brothers were gunned down within 5 years of each other, an older brother killed in WWII, a sister killed in a plane crash, another sister who suffered from mental retardation and was institutionalized, his own plane crashing, a wife who battled alcoholism, a son who lost a leg to cancer, a daughter who suffered from cancer and a scandal in which he was the driver of a car that plunged into a pond in Chappaquiddick, killing his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. He had been the family patriarch during the weddings of his nieces Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver, the trial of his nephew William Kennedy-Smith, the death of Robert Kennedy's son by a drug overdose, the death of another of Robert's sons due to a skiing accident and finally by the plane crash killing JFK's son, his wife and her sister in 1999 and his fatal battle with brain cancer, dying 2 weeks after his sister, Eunice.
Most people, myself included, would have snapped by that point but not the Kennedys. They fascinate me - I cannot fathom what their family is like dealing with such tragedy but doing so much good for this country. Such a tight-knit family who really have had too much put on them. They have survived and perservered. It's a shame to lose such a great man.
Thank you Senator Kennedy for all of the service you gave to this country and for making it a better place. May you rest in peace and you will be missed. God Bless You Uncle Teddy.

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