The Kennedy Legacy

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The Kennedy Legacy

Postby paddyinthepub » Thu May 22, 2008 12:58 pm

For as long as I can remember the name Kennedy has been a part of the fabric of the collective conciousness of this country. I was but 4 years old when President John F. Kennedy was assasinated in Dallas, Tx. and recall vividly the magnitude of the event. My mom packed me and my barely six month old brother in the car to go and pick up my 3 older siblings at school hours before they were supposed to be picked up.

We watched on tv as coverage of the tragedy unfolded and lasted for the next several days. I guess it was an indoctrination and explains alot of my attention to detail ways and my genuine interest in following around the clock coverage of tragedies when they occur here and receive similar coverage.

But none it seems more than when the tragedy involved the Kennedys. It was strange to get back to being a kid only to have Kennedy family tragedy surface again with Bobby Kennedy after he was assasinated in Los Angeles during his run for the presidency in 1968. The tv coverage again helped bring it all back home. How this american family was somehow special. So different from all the rest. How Americans everywhere held them in such high esteem. All but 9 years old in 1968 I remember the long train ride home for Bobby and how the masses lined up along the tracks to bid farewell and pay respects to a man they had cast their hopes on for change in America.

Watched with interest as Senator Ted Kennedy made a run for the White House and thought "my gosh, is he kidding?" I so wanted him to change his mind and not tempt fate. I thought if this was my dad and we had suffered the kind of loss the Kennedys have, I'd hope my dad would would give up on the dream and slowly grow old. Live a good and long life.

I was less focused on the reasons Ted Kennedy dropped out of the race and just relieved when he did. Of course, growing older and wiser, I soon understood the magnitude of the Chappaquidick incident and how it played so huge a part in his decision to get out of the race. Back then I only knew that I was selfishly RELIEVED that out of the Presidential spotlight his life would be less likely to be cut short to an assasin's bullet.

The fluff and stuff news that followed over the years with Jacqueline Kennedy (Jackie O) and Ari Onasis and who would inherit his billions was easy enough to take or leave. When John F. Kennedy Jr. had trouble passing the bar exam I hardly cared. So it took him a few times to finally pass, no big deal. When he dated this famous actress or that one.....good for him I remember thinking. When he found happiness and finally settled down and married, I thought, finally, he deserves to be happy.

When the news broke that his plane was missing off Martha's Vineyard Again I watched around the clock coverage on tv. Say it ain't so was a constant thought. I hoped against hope that it was a fluke thing and they find all 3 aboard safe on a beach somewhere unable to communicate their whereabouts. When the news finally came that John Jr and wife and sister in law had in fact perished, I felt the strange connection to the loss experienced all those years ago with his dad, President John F. Kennedy.

Through all of these tragedies it was always comforting to me to see the pillar of strength that is Ted Kennedy. You somehow knew everything was going to be okay, somehow, when you'd see him on tv, all portly and stoic with that beautiful shock of salt and pepper gray hair. Something tells me he knew all too well what it meant to his family and to his country to be the one to convey that though all is not well right now that it will be.

When the news broke initially about Ted Kennedy being rushed to a hospital having suffered a seizure and possibly a stroke I thought of how his dad, Joseph Kennedy, had suffered a debilatating stroke in his old age. I thought it would be a sad way for a man as vibrant as Ted Kennedy to live out his days. And now the news reveals that the seizure was caused by a brain tumor believed inoperable and one that doesn't have a very high chance of surviving beyond a year, often less than that.

Which brings me here today to say that I'm humbled at the thought that Ted Kennedy and his family now live knowing that the end of his life is on the horizon. That he walked out of the hospital yesterday and made his way home and took a walk on the beach made me smile. I'm not used to hearing tragic news surrounding the Kennedy family and finding anything there to smile or feel good about. There's some kind of sailboat race coming up that Teddy had planned on competing in.

What do you want to bet he's out there givin it his all?

Godspeed Ted Kennedy.......with America's hopes, thoughts, and prayers with you all the way as you face your next great challenge.

And just a small word of appreciation.

"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul

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Postby annieb » Fri May 23, 2008 2:03 pm

I'd like to join you in that 'thanks' Paddy!!

I can't think of any other American family more dedicated to public service than the Kennedy's.

My thoughts and prayers are with them as they face yet another challenge. :(


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Postby paddyinthepub » Fri May 23, 2008 3:48 pm

Here are photos of Ted Kennedy and his wife sailing on Thursday. ... d=1544&p=0
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul

Richard + Jela
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Postby Richard + Jela » Fri May 23, 2008 4:35 pm

Paddy, you write so eloquently about what we regard as 'America's First Family' and our thoughts are with them at this time.

On our trips to Boston over the years, we have visited the Kennedy Library at MIT twice - its a wonderful archive of the Kennedy legacy and quite likely that we will go again when we next visit.

Also have been to Arlington cemetery and seen the eternal flame at John Kennedy's graveside. His influence spanned much beyond America and even now in the press over here Barack Obama is being likened to Kennedy..........a young senator with a desire for change.

We get a lot of coverage of US news over here but I don't feel qualified to comment further except to say that I very much endorse your sentiments.


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