I spent some time yesterday watching the final ceremonies for Ted Kennedy at Arlington Cemetery.
There was a man who was truly loved.
Listening to his young grandchildren deliver their final words to a deeply adored Grandpa was as poignant as one might imagine. Or more so.
Although I've never been a huge Kennedy fan, still, I couldn't help but be moved by the poise, the grace, the overall dignity of this family. The memories that all of the speakers shared at the different ceremonies showed an man who, while as flawed as any human being can be, was also a giving, and, at times, humble person, who BELIEVED. He believed in public service, he believed in trying to make this country a more livable place for many who suffered. He believed inthe love and strength of family. Stories of how he would have no qualms about having his name removed to the background on important bills, stories of how he helped everyday people, stories of how he called people directly to check on their well being.
I'm sorry I only learned these things after he died.
Will the Kennedy legacy live on? Do we even live in an age where such a thing as "legacy" even exists anymore? Is the magic of the Kennedy name gone, with the death of the final, famous Kennedy brother? Maybe. Or maybe it continues in more quiet way. Without the hype, without anyone trying to make legends and heroes out of good people who are trying to do good, the best way the know how.
Whether you liked the man or his politics or despised him -- I think it's hard not to see how deeply he affected our country, the state of Massachusetts, and his own family. And for that, respect him, honor him. And, let the dream live on.