Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Legacy.

It has been a thoughtful two days since we learned of the passing of Teddy Kennedy. He was an imperfect man, no doubt, but we are all imperfect men and women. Much as been said about him, much of it loving and respectful, some of it brash and evil and even hate-filled. His colleagues such as Vice President Biden in tearful remembrance. His political enemies singing songs about him in remembrance of a consummate legislator and his ideals, who served close to five decades in the Senate. Some of those we will fine returning to business as usual, attacking his ideals and his values and his caring for "least among us" in favor of business as usual in America shortly after he is laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery next to his brothers. I have been thinking about what to say and what to write about him and suddenly I realized that his eulogy has already been written. It was written on November 19, 1863 by none other than President Lincoln who speaking at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery said in the last of sentence of that address:
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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