Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mourning Ted Kennedy

Is it just me or has it been a bizarre summer for celebrity deaths? Some major personalities have left us this summer - Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, John Hughes (or maybe it just feels like a lot because I'm a child of the 80's?). But none of those hit me like the death of Ted Kennedy. I simply can't imagine a world without Ted Kennedy in the Senate. What's kind of weird to me about that is that it's not like I've ever followed Kennedy's career all that closely. Of course, I didn't really have to, when his name was simply always around, attached to some of the biggest and most influential pieces of legislation of my lifetime (and especially since I do work in education policy). And of course, he IS a Kennedy. But I think the reason I'm particularly affected by his passing was summed up best by Robert Reich:

America has had a few precious individuals who are both passionate about social justice and also understand deep in their bones its practical meaning. And we have had a few who possess great political shrewdness and can make the clunky machinery of democratic governance actually work. But I have known but one person who combined all these traits and abilities. His passing is an inestimable loss.
btw, I thought it was particularly fitting (or perhaps, ironic) that today is the anniversary of the day that the 19th Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote (hat tip to Mixed Race America).


Yavuz KIR said...

He was a great advocat for those who had nothing...

Clever Elsie said...

We have lost a lot of public giants this summer, some who have, in the overall scheme of things, contributed nothing more than a few catchy tunes and others, like Ted Kennedy, who have helped change the way we live. Even though he'd been in poor health for a long time, he was so much a bastion of the Democratic Party and of the Senate, he seemed immortal. His passing at this particular moment in history, with the future of American health care hanging in the balance, is a particularly devastating loss. RIP, Senator Kennedy.

Simone Grant said...

It's bizarre, I've felt somewhat numb to most of the other celebrity deaths (though the passing of John Hughes sent me on a bit of a nostalgia trip).

But losing Ted Kennedy, NOW, is just so sad. He was a deeply flawed man who tried hard to live his life in the service of others.

Just so sad.