And so the Lion is laid to rest. The son of a wealthy family who, along with his older brothers, fought tirelessly for the poor and underpriveleged, the common man and woman, upon whose backs this country was built. America has lost a Champion.
The words he spoke at his brother Bobby's funeral echo in my mind today, and ironically, apply themselves to him better than any tribute I could make.
"My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."
Who now will pick up the torch? Who now will Champion the masses? Who now will seek for justice and equality for all men and women?
It is no accident that Senator Kennedy so fervently endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy for President. In passing the torch he annointed a new Lion. A young Lion. In our grief, let us affirm what Ted Kennedy stood for. Let us throw our stength and will behind the new torch bearer and complete Senator Kennedy's dream. In doing so, we will ensure that he didn't struggle on our behalf in vain.
For Jack, Bobby and Teddy. Thank you all so very much.