Home > Uncategorized > >Rest In Peace Teddy…

>Rest In Peace Teddy…

>It was the summer of 2001. I was interning in DC for a Senator from New Mexico and like many interns, it was another world, but it was magical. Roaming the underground halls of the Capitol…moving from Hart Building to Russell and back…I became lost in my thoughts and looked at the possibilities of one day doing my part in public service. On one of those days where I was lost in a trance, not paying any attention to the chaos that surrounded me, there in the Russell Senate Building, was a tall burly man, with a very large poodle by his side. It was Senator Kennedy. I was lost amongst the crowd and had just witnessed something great, even for just a brief second.

Last night as I sat at home, relaxing with the Bravo channel on my television, I received a tweet from @cnnbrk and there it was…Ted Kennedy was gone. The thing about this loss is that his death, like those in his family before him, are so close to many of our hearts. Growing up, my parents, who came to the US from Mexico, knew and spoke of the Kennedy’s like they were people they knew personally. Like we had been family friends for years. Why? Because despite their fame and fortune and the prestige of America’s version of Camelot, they were a family that could have chosen a different life, but instead chose public service — to serve and push for issues so close to the hearts of our communities.

When John was killed in 1963…and Robert in 1968, the country mourned and American’s felt a huge loss. Not just for the country and the obstacles it faced without them, but for the family that was left behind. Ted Kennedy was the youngest of his family but after the deaths of his brothers, he had to take on whatever responsibility he was handed over, unintentionally, by these losses. Ted was not the best early on, but overtime, he became great.

Today as I listened to NPR, it finally hit me…Ted was really quite extraordinary. So many legislative bills that he submitted or signed on to, have become American law and incorporated into our daily lives. The freedoms and opportunities those of us my age (and younger) take advantage of all the time, are the same freedoms and opportunties that did not exist before us but do so because of Senator Kennedy’s committment, influence and extremely powerful liberal voice. While yes, we would have preferred that he be much more to the left…he did enough to get the job done for all of those social issues that we hold dear to our hearts.

While television and internet gives us a great look of our Kennedy history, I am so glad that I was able to see it first hand, the greatness that was Ted Kennedy. I hope that all the great things we loved about Senator Kennedy, will be replicated amongst our present Congress and and our future leaders. That politics be put aside and that serious issues be dealt with immediately and head on, with great passion and conviction. It’s ironic that Senator Kennedy’s death comes in the middle of the biggest policy battle that this country has seen since the Civil Right’s era and an issue he has advocated for years. I still believe in this great democracy and I hope that his spirit lives on as we move forward. As in the Senator’s own words, “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die...”

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