Ted Kennedy

August 26th, 2009

For those of us that grew up in the 60’s, the Kennedy's will always be a part of our consciousness. Whether you were a Republican or a Democrat, whether you were for Nixon or Kennedy in 1960, the Kennedy's, the Kennedy brothers will be with us forever. They are woven in the very fabric of the nation and certainly the DNA of the ‘60’s.

The death of Ted Kennedy somehow brings that era to some kind of closure. As Ted Kennedy passed the torch to a new generation, with his support for Barack Obama, that same generation must now go forth on its own.

Embodied in the Kennedy's was all that was good and all that went wrong in the ‘60’s. From expanded freedom and civil rights, to the war in Vietnam, to the social divisions that we still struggle with today.

The death of Ted Kennedy somehow leaves us adrift without our living anchor to that past. In some ways it’s like the death of a parent. For baby boomers, for those that grew up in that time, we are now truly on our own..

There are two audio clips of Ted Kennedy’s I want to include here. First, his eulogy for his brother Bobby, at his funeral in 1968. It is a powerful speech that could certainly be made today to reflect Ted Kennedy’s life. And also the final paragraphs of Ted Kennedy’s speech at the Democratic Convention in 1980, where he ended his Presidential aspirations and committed to the work that would become his life.

That speech, written in large part by the political consultant Bob Schrum, would, for generations, define political oratory.

Let’s listen to both.