Much is being said today, and will be for the next few days, about Ted Kennedy on the occasion of his death. There are many sources, and many voices more knowledgeable than mine about his contributions to American political life as a long-serving U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. What I have found most striking in the remembrances so far is his perserverance, his commitment to many causes on behalf of ordinary people that we consider part of our birthright today – civil rights, education, health care, employment rights. That a man born into as close to a royal family as this country has had in generations would spend his life in the service of those less fortunate, to fight for the cause of common good, and to do it with passion, energy, and inspiration remains an inspiration for us even though he is gone.
I still believe in the American dream. Not the house, 2.5 kids, and a dog, so much as the Big Dream – that people can and do make a difference, that we can be inspired, that we can strive to be better than we are and move ever closer to fulfilling the principles on which this nation was founded. And when he said, “for all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die” I believe this is the dream he meant.
Thank you for your life, your service, your example, and your inspiration. Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy.