Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Goodbye Senator Kennedy

It's 1:35 am here on the east coast and I'm sitting in front of my television. I was watching Craig Ferguson interview Eric Idle; it was a very humorous interview. However, CBS news just broke into the broadcast to announce the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. I don't have anything wise or pertinent to say about his passing; it just seems to me that the loss of such a statesman cannot be ignored.

The Kennedy family was the beacon of my youth. I was five when JFK was elected to office and eight years old when he was killed. I remember that Mother Theophane, the nun who was principal of my school cried as she told us of his assassination. I had never seen her cry before that day. My mother was crying when I came home from school. She had never let me see her cry before either.

When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, I was 13. I had been enthused about his campaign,especially his vocal support of civil rights. He was young and forthright and I really believed that he could change the world. I was only 13 and still capable of believing in the impossible.

Ted Kennedy didn't have the immediately apparent charisma of his two brothers. The first significant attention that I recall him attracting followed his unfortunate accident that resulted in the death of a young woman. However, as I grew older, the Senator from Massachusetts impressed me more and more. He was a fierce champion of civil rights, access to a quality public education for all,and social programs to ensure that the needs of the most needy in our society were met, including access to health care.

His death saddens me. I think that his presence in the U.S. Senate will be sorely missed. His are big shoes to fill. May he rest in peace and may his family take comfort that his life was well spent in public service.

I looked for a song and settled on Bob Dylan's Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Dylan was the voice of an era when I was young, optimistic, and believed in heroes. Senator Kennedy was one of my heroes. (Hit the pause button on the music player before you hit play on the video.)

Knockin' on Heaven's Door
by Bob Dylan

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark to see
I feel I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Repeat chorus


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

His passing marks the end of an era. There may never be another one with his stature.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Dear Sheria,
Ted Kennedy was one of my heroes, too. Lovely tribute. I also posted about him today.

Sending you love,


Beth said...

Despite the controversies in his early life, I believe his latter years were spent in fine service to his country. I think what saddens me the most is that he didn't live to see health care reform take place.

Thank you for the caring tribute to the Senator. Hugs, Beth

Sybil said...

Thank you for that lovely tribute. May he rest in peace.
Thank you also for the tribute song has a spcial meaning for me as well
Love Sybil xxx

Joy said...

I heard about his death the same way you did - while watching Craig Ferguson and Eric Idle. You expressed how I feel so well in this post. The song does, too. I wish he could have voted for health care that he's worked so hard on.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

Although I've mellowed over the years, I've never completely forgiven Ted for the damage he did by running against a sitting Democratic President (Carter) thus inflicting Reagan on this country.

That said, Ted spent the last two decades of his life in the heartfelt service of the less fortunate. Can any of us claim a better epitaph?

Mark said...

One of my first memories is the death of JFK-I feel it separates me from anyone younger and bonds me to the generation older than me.

Someone on FB made a crack about Ted and Chappaquidick so I defriended him.