Tributes to Ted Kennedy

One of the most venerable traditions in the Federal Government is the publication of memorial addresses commemorating the careers of recently deceased Members of Congress. Even a cursory review via the Internet reveals that this practice extends back to the mid-19th century. That same review shows that, for the most part, despite the undoubtedly distinguished services of the individuals so honored, history has a way of eroding their fame, as it does for most of us.

I suspect that this won’t be the case for Senator Edward M. Kennedy – at least not for a long time. His unique family background, with its achievements and tragedies, as well as his own long, eventful, and productive career in the Senate, should keep his fame alive for a generation or two, at least.

What strikes me about Edward M. Kennedy, Late a Senator from Massachusetts: Memorial Addresses and Other Tributes, though, is what it shows about the more human interactions among the late Senator and his colleagues. Regardless of party or ideological persuasion, it’s heartening to read about political opponents who still are able to find common ground on certain issues and act positively to address them. You’ll also find a fair amount of humor, as well as personal anecdotes that portray Senator Kennedy as a genuinely genial and thoughtful person and a man of his word both politically and personally. It’s not a bad way to be remembered, and makes me think that there may be more good will and understanding among our legislators than we’re usually led to think. It cheered me up to read this book.

 A typical quote, this one from Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: “The only thing I can tell you about Senator Kennedy, without any hesitation, is if he told you he would do something, that is all you needed to hear. A handshake from him was better than a video deposition from most people.”

Edward M. Kennedy, Late a Senator from Massachusetts: Memorial Addresses and Other Tributes is available online at GPO. You can obtain either a paperback or handsome hardback edition here.

8 Responses to Tributes to Ted Kennedy

  1. Raymond says:

    You’re so interesting! I do not suppose I have read anything like this before.
    So good to discover someone with some original thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needed on the web,
    someone with a bit of originality!

    Like

  2. arduino video blog says:

    Hi Govbooktalk,
    This might be off topic, however, I watched Ted Kennedy’s funeral mass on Saturday on NBC and at the stop of it, there was a terrific small tribute video clip of his existence (narrated by his personal voice). I want to website link to it for a webpage piece of writing I am creating, but I cannot acquire it via the web anyplace.

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    Like

  3. James Roguski says:

    Say what you want about the man. Say what you want about health care reform. Senator Kennedy worked for years to achieve his goal. It’s a shame he didn’t live just a little bit longer. He deserved to see the tree that he helped plant grow and have it’s fruit ripen.

    Like

  4. zannias vasilis says:

    UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS THE BITTER TRUTH!THAT THE HISTORY HAS A WAY OF ERODING THE FAME OF MANY REPUTABLE ΜΕΝ!

    Like

  5. John E. Luke says:

    Senator Kennedy is without a doubt one of the most noble leaders in American History. His tireless devotion to improving the American condition will never be forgotten. The Kennedy family is an icon of our nation’s great ability to continue to foster excellence in public service and truth in Government.

    Like

  6. Dr.G says:

    Senator Kennedy had a noble journey in the field of politics. His legacy is public service.

    Like

  7. Apachecheynne says:

    There is never a moment in my life, that I go without thinking of the Kennedy life! I was just a young girl but I never forget the love he gave people around this world, because he was as His brothers, taught to give and live as humanly possible, through him time is remembered for the good of the Kennedy hearts of this Nation. I owe his family a debt of gratitude, for they gave a place for my family to live with civility!

    Like

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