Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC '08: Senator Edward Kennedy

Video above shows Caroline Kennedy's introduction, a tribute video and Ted Kennedy's speech.

First was Caroline Kennedy's poignant introduction. An excerpt:

I am here tonight to pay tribute to two men who have changed my life, and the life of this country - Barack Obama, and Edward M. Kennedy. Their stories are very different, but they share a commitment to the timeless American ideals of justice and fairness, service and sacrifice, faith and family. Leaders like them come along rarely. But once or twice in a lifetime, they come along just when we need them the most.

"I have never had someone inspire me the way people tell me my father inspired them - but I do now. And I know someone else who's been inspired all over again by Senator Obama.

"In our family, he'll always be known as Uncle Teddy. More than any senator of his generation, or perhaps any generation, Teddy has made life better for people in this country and around the world. For 46 years, he has been so much more than just a Senator for the people of Massachusetts, he's been a Senator for all who believe in a dream that's never died."

The video tribute followed, a moving remembrance not just of Ted but of his legendary brothers Jack and Bobby. Being reminded of them made me and D. think, how did we get from their age of idealism and optimism to the ugly, divisive and disastrous Bush legacy of the last eight years?

Finally, Ted Kennedy's speech. The Pepsi Stadium erupted in cheers and thunderous applause when he appeared; many were not expecting him to show up, knowing his battle with brain tumor. Though brief, the Liberal Lion of the Senate gave a fiery, impassioned speech. My favorite part:

Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again.

There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination -- not merely victory for our Party, but renewal for our nation.

And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.
It was the most touching highlight of the evening, to see the patriarch of the legendary Kennedy dynasty ceremoniously pass the torch to the next generation of Democratic leadership. Thunderous applause and not a dry eye in the house, considering this convention might well be his last.

More reactions at Memeorandum.

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posted at 6:35:00 AM by Wonky Muse

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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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