Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Senator and I at Webster Hall in New York City 2007
The great liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy was passed from our scope. His life and existence were always filled with controversy, problems and horror. It was my pleasure to meet him in 2007. I did not always agree with him, but one could see he strove to help the underclass and those who were less fortunate.
If I was to guess which of the Kennedy brothers had the greatest impact on the United States, it would not take me more than a second to say that it was indeed Edward. He will be buried next to his fallen brothers at Arlington. He will fall under the listing of one of the greats of Senate in its history.
I have lived long enough to remember all of the brothers who were politically involved. I recall the Presidency, death and funeral of JFK. I remember the massive film coverage of that horrid event in this nations history. I recall that Jackie Kennedy, RFK, and Edward lit the eternal flame over JFK's grave.
I recall the horror of RFK's assassination and the long funeral train back to Washington. I remember with clear detail the great and impassioned eulogy Edward Kennedy gave for his brother. I recall the sobs that generated from him as he recalled his brothers life.
I recall the mess and troubles of his car crash and the death of his brothers campaign aid. This was a great mistake on his part and destroyed forever his hopes of attaining higher office. However how bad he seems to have lowered himself in the late 1960's through the late 1980's, he made a great turn in a more positive direction. He left his sordid past behind and became a great leader and politician.
His last years were dedicated to helping those who could not help themselves. He died and leaves a legacy unlike many who have existed in our time or any time. I would say that he ranks with just a handful of the greats in politics, far outshining his brothers and also given the gift of years.
In the Senate he will join the very few who will be remembered by the future. For with all of his faults, and there were many. He strove to make this country better. I feel that the good he did so very far outshines his faults. He was the last of an age. I am very happy to have met him.
My sympathies go to his family and to the nation for which he served.