Saturday, June 05, 2004

Someone sent me an aptly titled post today: The day the United States died. Bobby Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel just after midnight on the 5th, and died 36 years ago tomorrow. He’s still the only candidate who when I hear him, brings tears to my eyes. He grew a lot in the wake of his brother’s assassination. Between that and his experiences as Attorney General, Bobby had become radicalized and was one of the most outspoken critics of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower so warned us about. He spoke out against greed and began to understand why the poor in the world saw communism as a viable option – one he never supported, but one he came to understand.

During the California primary, people actually lined up at the polls, physically standing and waiting in line, to vote for this man. That’s never happened before or since. He was an original, and every year about this time I feel his loss immensely and just wanted to share that. He believed we had a compassionate country. Today, I wonder.

As Teddy said at his funeral,

“My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. Rather, he should 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.”

Please join with me in holding a thought for Bobby, for his eleven children who were suddenly left without a father today, and for Ted who lost his two closest brothers. No one should have to endure what that family has had to endure.


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