Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A public servant to the very end

There is no tribute I could post or words I could write to truly encapsulate the loss our country has had in the death of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). He wasn’t a politician. He was a public servant.

Despite serving more than 46 years in office, the third longest of any senator in the history of our country, he remained passionate and diligent to his responsibilities. He was not swayed by special interests or power, and never wavered from his commitment to fighting for the working class.

Even when facing down certain death, Kennedy put the public’s interest first. Just last week he sent a letter to key leaders of the Massachusetts legislature urging for laws governing succession of office to be changed. This was to ensure the state would not lose a vote in the upcoming showdown over health care reform after the summer recess.

My heart aches tonight in a way it hasn’t hurt since the loss of my grandfather in May. Only the sadness I feel is not of a personal nature, but of realizing the void Kennedy’s death will create. When he knew things were blatantly wrong, he didn’t hide under a smooth veneer that was politically safe. He would speak from the heart, reminding his colleagues in Congress they were there to serve the public and nothing else.

So with that, I will leave you with the greatest tribute I can think to post. Kennedy, in his own words, fighting the fight he fought best. The fight of the people.

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