Ted Kennedy's Eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy

Revolution, liberty, discovery, and moral courage.  These were themes prevalent in Ted Kennedy’s eulogy for his brother Bobby, after his insane assassination in 1968.  Drawing directly from one of Bobby’s greatest speeches, Ted quoting Bobby, said that, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.  And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard or read.  To me, it encapsulates the frontier thinking that marked the cultural and social revolutions going on in the 1960s.  Bobby originally gave that speech in apartheid afflicted South Africa in 1966, where racism and intolerance were raging.  Ted’s eulogy for his brother was also perhaps his finest moment and speech, summing up his brother’s life by stating that “his brother not need to be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life,” and that “he be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, and saw war and tried to stop it.”  It’s at this point, where Ted’s voice begins to quaver, and he delivers Bobby’s greatest thought ever, “some men see things as they are, and say why, I dream things that never were, and say why not.”

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