Ted Kennedy, the longest serving brother in one of the greatest political families, died early this morning of brain cancer, exactly one year to the day of his surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention. He was a son of privilege in a family that championed the poor. He sought the glory in life that his brothers were denied in death. He was the Lion of the Senate and he became an institution onto himself. And his alter flame will be the guiding light to a new generation of change-makers, our current President included.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that Ted never lived to see the health care plan, largely of his inspiration, pass congress. Now, in the proposal's greatest hour of need, its champion is dead. And for that, America will miss him so very much.
I've always been fond of Ted's oratory, and I'd like to share a clip from his eulogy of Bobby Kennedy, who was slain during his 1968 Presidential Campaign.
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.
As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:"Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not."