Ian Goldin, Staff Writer
Ideology: Liberal Independent | Writing From: George Washington University
Earlier this week, the American people got a short look into the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s thoughts about his public and private life. His memoirs are scheduled to go on sale on September 14th, less than a month after his tragic death, and will shed some light about some of the mysteries surrounding him and his family. Though Kennedy was worried about the legacy he would leave in the eyes of the American public, his death has cemented his legacy as that of a true public servant.
I was in Washington for his funeral procession, which stretched from the Capitol building to Arlington National Cemetery, where he was interred. It was getting close to dusk as Kennedy’s casket made its way through the city, and the sun was breaking through the clouds over the Memorial Bridge. What I saw was extremely moving: thousands of people lined the route on both sides of the street, and all the way over the bridge into Virginia. They waited there for hours – many with their children and loved ones – just to pay their respects to the Senator.
This man was literally crying as the procession drove past.
There has been some controversy, lately, about the politicization of Kennedy’s death. The conservatives trying to block the President’s healthcare plan are criticizing Congressional Democrats for claiming that Senator Kennedy would have wanted it to pass. They say it’s a disgrace to his memory. I disagree. We, supporters of healthcare reform, are not politicizing anyone’s death. It’s not about politics anymore; it’s about giving Americans the health they need. In fact, we’re actually honoring Senator Kennedy by fighting for something he fought for his entire life. And though he will never see the fruit of his labor, we will not give up on his dream. We won’t give up until every American has access to affordable healthcare. Maybe Obama’s plan isn’t the right one, but there will be one, and we will proudly continue to fight for health care with Kennedy’s memory in mind.
Look into this woman’s eyes and tell me she’s just doing it for politics.
The procession was long. The motorcade crept down Constitution Avenue, “as if reluctant to complete the journey.” Members of the Kennedy family waved solemnly to the crowd from limousines and buses. People waved back, cheered, and sometimes just stared. For most of us, we couldn’t believe we were watching Ted Kennedy’s last time in Washington.
Kennedy’s casket draped in the flag.
“Some people make mistakes and try to learn from them and do better,” Kennedy once said.”Our sins don’t define the whole picture of who we are.” I hope he’s right, for our sake.