Ted Kennedy has passed, brain cancer taking from us the last of a set of brothers whose impact on the history of this great nation is unarguably massive.
Senator Kennedy was a man of passion, an impressive legislator and a great American. He saw two of his beloved brothers pay the ultimate price for public service and yet never shied from that spotlight. Many lesser men would have removed themselves from public life after assassins stole the lives of their brothers. Ted never considered it. He even ran for the very office that had brought tragedy to his family.
He was a man I admired, both for his greatness and for his humanity. It is no great dishonor for me to call him the least of that triad of siblings. I might as well call Michaelangelo's Pieta a lesser work. It is, compared to the Sistine Chapel. So it was with Ted, always trying to live up to the legacy bequeathed to him in the most bloody of manners.
He was not entirely comfortable with the burden, as some of his history shows. Yet he overcame that to become a voice of leadership and change, a powerful force in the nation that murdered his kin.
He is gone, and I will miss hearing him. Miss that distinctive Kennedy accent, the tinge of voice that carried unmistakable reminders of Jack and Bobby, that made me believe in his belief in the ideas and concepts that he espoused.
Ted Kennedy should be honored in the manner most fitting, by the fulfillment of his life's work. In 1969, Ted Kennedy introduced into the national discussion the idea that a nation this powerful should care for all its children, not only those most fortunate.
Pass a national health care package. Those who have held up this process for mere money and political gamesmanship should be ashamed. They have succeeded only in delaying long enough to rob a great man of an opportunity to see his work finished before he passed. They are but a shadow of this man we have lost today.
Enough. Honor Ted in a way he would have wanted. Pass national health care.