Thursday, August 27, 2009

The End Of An Era

Senator Edward (Ted) M. Kennedy was the senator from my state. His death was expected, but it still came as a shock. It brings to a close the Kennedy Era, which has been a part of my life since I was a little child. I barely remember the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Catholic President. My most vivid memory was being at my grandparent’s house for our Sunday visit. The campaign was in progress. The adults asked me who I wanted to be elected President. I declared in a loud voice, “Nixon!” Only luck and my mother kept me from being thrown out of the house.

My next memory was being in Catholic elementary school on a day in November, 1963. Word of President Kennedy's assassination spread through the school, the sisters were all tearful. I remember the following days being very sad. I have no clear memories of where I was when Robert Kennedy died, but I do remember being shocked by it.

Ted Kennedy remained, and served Massachusetts as its Senator. His career has had highs and lows. He has had more than his share of tragedies and losses. Yet he seems to overcome them and became one of the most respected legislators on the U.S. Senate. He always maintained his concern for the poor, the marginalized, and the emigrant. He spoke up for them, even when it was not popular to do so. He spoke out for peace, even when most of his colleagues were agreeing to war. He was passionate about his causes; he did have the roar of a lion.

He held to positions that put him in conflict with the Church, for which he will have to make an accounting of to God. But I hope in God’s compassion and mercy. And I will keep him in my prayers.

Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe has reported on Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s statement and the funeral plans. The National Catholic Reporter has published essays on the life and death of Senator Kennedy.

No comments:

Post a Comment