Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy, R.I.P.

It's a little surprising to me that Ted's passing received so much 24 x 7 attention. It could be a local effect, but the national media seem pretty caught up, too. He seemed to be scorned almost as much as he was respected. He always seemed to be working on behalf of the individual and the person(s) in need, so I always held him in the highest regard.

The incident at Chappaquiddick back in 1969 is always thrown in his face (in the media, not in person), and Mary Jo Kopechne's death is tragic even now almost 40 years later to the day. (I knew one of the girls at the party that night from childhood. She lived up the street from us, and she was our baby sitter when we were kids. Nice girl, nice family.) I'd seen much worse parties, and I expect he was haunted by this for the rest of his life, too.

Years ago, when I led an Amnesty International Adoption Group, Ted spoke up at a meeting with the Soviet General Secretary and asked for a certain prisoner of conscience (on whose behalf we were working) to be released. He was successful, and three weeks later both were standing around at a small party in Brookline to thank everyone.

Ted worked at all levels on behalf of people. I imagine his parents (primarily his mother) instilled this in him, in addition to losing his brothers unnaturally and more I expect. He'll be missed everywhere.



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