Senator Edward “Ted” M. Kennedy was born into wealth and privilege, but spent his life advocating for the poor and disadvantaged.
Senator Kennedy was, by his own account, a very flawed man, one who experienced great personal failures and tremendous regret. It would have been easy for him to retreat, but he chose to live out his life in service to his country and his fellow man. His ability to see life through the eyes of those less fortunate than himself and his sense of duty to right the obvious wrongs, won the hearts of democrats and republicans alike.
He’ll be forever remembered as a champion of civil rights, equality, and bipartisanship. A leader in the fight for health care reform, which he said was the cause of his life, Senator Kennedy made it clear that health care for all was something he dearly wanted to achieve in his lifetime. Sadly, he will not see his dream come to pass.
As he waged a personal battle against brain cancer, he never lost sight of the fact that many Americans do not have access to the same quality of care that he did.
“What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system.” – Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Concerned to the end about health care and worried that he would be unable to complete his term, he recently requested a change in Massachusetts law that would allow the governor to appoint someone to fill his seat until a special election could be held. His death, and the loss of his vote on health care reform, could have a serious impact on the outcome.
If a comprehensive health care bill manages to pass during this president’s term, it will be due in no small part to decades of effort on the part of Senator Kennedy, and would serve as a lasting testament to his passion and commitment.
Thank you, Senator Kennedy, for a lifetime of service. Your legacy will be that of a rare breed — a compassionate politician. May you rest in peace.
View and sign the petition: “Honoring Ted Kennedy”
Other Care2 posts remembering Senator Kennedy:
Thank You, Senator Kennedy
Senator Edward M. Kennedy: a Fierce Advocate for Gay Rights
Ted Kennedy, Champion of Environmental Protection
Health Care Reform Without Kennedy: Remembering Kennedy and his Cause
Carrying on the Legacy of Senator Kennedy