Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the cool, cloudy and calm island of Nantucket! Great to be with you and yours on this Monday afternoon–the 30th day of March, 2015–awaiting some precipitation fairly shortly, as this little sand bar created 11,500 years ago by “the Last Great Ice Age” readies itself for yet another wonderful summer season ahead…
Happy times in Boston today as well, a real celebration of light, humor, empathy and leadership coming together at the much anticipated dedication to a new “national monument” of sort, presided over by none other than the President of the United States himself–Mr. Barack Obama–who was just heard by this reporter on a little ham radio of sorts–offering perhaps his best speech to date–as he dedicated, along with Kennedy’s and Republicans alike, the newly opened “Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate”, right next door to the hallowed JFK Museum, that will hopefully introduce young people to the ways and means of our hallowed United States Senate. Opening up young minds to possibility and greatness; next generations comprehending just how this country survived two brutal world wars, a civil war and the assassination of our greatest leaders.
This new ‘intelligentsia’ leaving behind a legacy that will be endured forever. Not because of Teddy Kennedy (who passed away in 2009 at the age of 77), but moreover for what he stood for. In a word–EMPATHY.
Being able to “lend a healing hand” (please read “True Compass”, by the late, great Senator from this equally great state of Massachusetts), in America for so long, this man–”the Last Lion of the Senate”–will be remembered for that fight to do right, against all odds, eventually coming out the victor. For even in death, that legacy of love, compassion and ‘the healing hand’ from those more fortunate in this world ring TRUE to anyone with a heart (even those with half a heart). REAL MEN (or women), who are only looking for an avenue to do that right thing in that U.S. Senate for the good of all her people, not just that chosen few who have hijacked her and will pay a price.
After all, as President Obama just commented on in that epic speech only a few moments ago, it was Teddy’s ability to put himself in another shoe that set him apart from most of the bought and paid for Senators you may see on that famed floor today. Not all, but let’s be real, it has become an epidemic, one that revolves around GREED at it’s very core, a core that is rotting from the inside out.
“…when will the greed stop?” (Teddy Kennedy on the U.S. Senate floor, circa 2007).
FEAR is the modus operandi running the show in Washington D.C. in this early 21st Century. And let no on tell you differently. As our great President Barack Obama stated, and I only slightly paraphrase here, “…Teddy Kennedy was my friend. His suffering was remarkable. Yet by choice he chose LOVE. Instead of becoming bitter and disillusioned with tragedy of his both brothers; horrible violent public deaths as well as the suffering of his son fighting away cancer, he found it within him to look beyond the partisan horse hockey going on in D.C., and focus in on the current needless suffering going on in today’s “modern” America.
One that has seen the rich only get rich by the Wall Street minute, while the poor, ‘enriched’ with predatory “pay day loans“, only slink away into obscurity, disillusionment and irrelevance. Teddy truly cared for these people. He became that man we all should strive to be–one who viewed the needs of others above his own, indeed, they outweighed his own in the end. Fiery speeches on that U.S. Senate floor that, as President Obama said only a few minutes ago, “…sent nervous aides scrambling to find the next chart”.
Down to the pattern and color of the carpet and wall paper of the real U.S. Senate in Washington, this “Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the U.S. Senate” will offer more than just fun tour of the Kennedy family’s long and fabled tale. This will have a purpose, and like Teddy, that is, was and forever will be the whole point!
To live life with purpose–to have goals and aspirations that go beyond our ’self’. Going well beyond the common trait and habit as humans to just do enough to get by. No sir, this man was for real. Like his brother Jack said so many moons ago (Teddy truly becoming the older brother after he and Bobby passed), “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
My deepest hopes are that this jewel in Boston will be given a close look by coming generations, forging a new America a little more interested in what our forefathers had in mind centuries ago, one “of, by and for the people at large. One not so interested in those “special interests”, oping rather to help out “the least among US”. Starting with the poorest of the poor, ridding the country once and for all of “Citizens United”… and all of the evil therein. “
Two quotes from the late, great Massachusetts Senator’s memoir, “True Compass” I thought relevant in today’s 21st Century American political power struggle. One from page 394, where Kennedy interacted with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who was there “…to offer an eloquent tribute Jack’s memory in a 1985 fundraiser to endow the John F. Kennedy Library…I asked the president about his ranch and whether he was able to get there often. Reagan brightened at the mention of the subject and spoke about it for fifteen minutes about how he’d had to give up his old ranch when he was elected governor of California because the taxes on it were half of his salary. Since then, he’d found new property in a mountainous area that referred to as goat country. Mrs. Reagan said it was full of trees and pastures, terrific for riding.”
Chapter 14 “The Shock of Silence” 1969
“…I returned to shore–to the Senate, to what was left of my world–consumed with the need to spur myself forward with activity. Devastation about Bobby’s death–and with it, all my pent-up grief about Jack–threatened to overtake me. My only defense for giving into it was to keep active, keep moving, keep churning forward. I feared that despair and darkness might overtake and smother me if I slackened my drive.“
May that Divine drive be with US ALL! God be with Teddy Kennedy now and for always! He may not be here in physical form, but his spirit is ALIVE and WELL here on the Hyannis/Hyannis Port Waterfront(s)! Thank you President Obama… have a good day!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M