During his moving eulogy, Ted Kennedy, Jr., surprised the guests attending his father’s funeral — and millions more on national television — with the revelation that Senator Ted Kennedy had once been recruited by the Green Bay Packers.
Senator Ted Kennedy played touch football on the lawn of the family compound in on Cape Cod, and college football at Harvard University. He was an accomplished sailor and an avid fan of the Red Sox who threw out the first ball at Fenway Park at Boston’s home opener this season.
Ted Kennedy was a sportsman, a beloved family patriarch and a legislator — a voice and a vote for the everyday American. He was a man with flaws, certainly, a man forced to live up to the impossible legacy left by his brothers.
Yet Kennedy exceeded those lofty expectations, through his efforts on Capital Hill for civil rights, people with disabilities, health care, and so many other causes that benefitted the people of this country.
For those of us old enough to remember, Ted Kennedy’s final tribute was a tearful reminder of a November weekend in 1963 and a Saturday in June five years later when the nation paid last respects to his brothers, first John and then Bobby, their untimely deaths the result of assassins’ bullets.
And then there is the forgotten brother, Joe Kennedy, who gave his life for his country flying a dangerous mission in World War II.
Unlike his brothers, Ted Kennedy lived a full life and ultimately achieved the promise of the Kennedy name.
Farewell, Camelot. May you rest in peace, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Today, of all days, we are reminded of all those who made Barack Obama’s Presidency possible.
We think of our Founding Fathers, who created this great nation rooted to the belief that “All men are created equal.”
We remember Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery and saved the Union.
We think of Rosa Parks, whose act of defiance on a segregated bus spurred the Civil Rights movement.
Or Medger Evers, a civil rights activist, murdered by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Or James Meredith, the first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi.
Our thoughts go back to Martin Luther King, who had a dream in the summer of 1963…a dream that came true today.
We think of places like Gettysburg and Selma, Alabama, and Washington, D.C.
We recall Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in Brooklyn in 1947.
Or Fritz Pollard, one of the first black players and the first black head coach in the National Football League.
We think of the countless thousands of Americans who made today possible.
Americans today are bursting with pride and hope, eager to turn the page and make this nation great again.
“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America,” said President Barack H. Obama in his moving inaugural address.
God bless America.