Ted Kennedy Jr brings self, others to tears

August 29, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy’s son, Ted Kennedy Jr., served up one of the most eKENNEDY/motional moments of his father’s funeral on Saturday when he recalled how the late senator stood by him while he struggled after losing his leg to cancer.

Calling his father “my best friend,” Ted Kennedy Jr told of a winter day — a few months after his leg was amputated — when his father urged him to go sledding on their steep driveway. 

“And I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg. And the hill was covered with ice and snow. And it wasn’t easy for me to walk. And the hill was very slick. And as I struggled to walk, I slipped and I fell on the ice. And I started to cry and I said, I can’t do this. I said, I’ll never be able to climb up that hill.  
“And he lifted me up in his strong, gentle arms and said something I will never forget. He said, ‘I know you can do it. There is nothing that you can’t do. We’re going to climb that hill together, even if it takes us all day.'”  
“Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top. And you know, at age 12 losing your leg pretty much seems like the end of the world. But as I climbed on to his back and we flew down the hill that day, I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be OK. ”
“You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable, and that is — it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father’s greatest lessons. ”

“He taught me that nothing is impossible.”

Kennedy’s voice broke as he told the story, and paused to wipe his eyes. 

He went on to tell other anecdotes: his father was a Green Bay Packers recruit but he opted to go to law school instead; the elder Kennedy was a Civil War buff and he used to pack the family up into a car or rented camper to visit the great battlefields; and family vacations “left us all injured and exhausted.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (Ted Kennedy Jr wipes away tears as he speaks at his father’s funeral)





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Does anyone know where to find a transcript of his speech? This is one of the best eulogies I’ve heard and it’s a fitting tribute to the Senator from a loving son.

Posted by Gary Rowe | Report as abusive

So much of his “The Dream Shall Never Die” speech is relevant now. It makes me sad that so many Americans do not know how much it was really Senator Edward Kennedy that advanced the dreams of his brothers into reality. So many of us who want now to pick up the “fallen standard” need the example his life offers of HOW liberal ideals can be transformed into something real that betters the lives of our neighbors.I put together some of the audio of the speech, accompanied it with images and ideas that highlight some of his accomplishments, and put it into a video. The following page also has information on the 6 (of 13 or a minority) Democratic senators in the Senate Finance Committee who have yet to pledge their support for the public option in the Kennedy Health Care bill.http://ipolity.com/wiki/index.php?p age=TDP+Health+Care

Posted by edwin forprogress.org | Report as abusive

Surely you guys are kidding!! Kennedy was nothing more than a person born and fed his whole life with a silver spoon, and did nothing to promote anything except his family agenda. I’ll bet Mary Jo Kapekne would like a copy of the speech as well. Oh, did you forget about his Martha’s Vineyard issue with her? Daddy’s money got him off scott free, where everyday Americans would be in prison. Oh well, he’s history now. It’s just amazing to me how the people of MA could re-elect this guy for almost 50 years. I’m sure our forefathers are proud. Not.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

It always amazes me that in the democratic party you can have two parallel lives one that projects a dedicated politician with historic achievement and the “behind the scene life” that never gets any mention from the media and is taboo to any inquiry or commentary. We acknowledge that times have changed and i am not singling the one brother but nobody refutes that the first two had chequered hidden reputations. It would help me to celebrate sen Kennedys life and achievement with the same dignity that we all are expected to extend to him both in life and death if the same respect were afforded to none democrats namely Sarah Palin as an example,as she has been systematically attacked with out any remorse.The same people who are demonstrating considerable grief but mention the name Sarah Palin and the mode changes in a split second and turns to hate.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Well, god bless mr kennedy, howeverthe deification of this man is ridiculous….he was a man , nothing more than a lifetime politicianwhich , in my opinion doesn’t say much ..other then he was their too darn long..and now we have to listen to the psycho babble from the left about” a vote for Government run health care , is a vote for teddy and his memory “and enough already with the ” his beloved state of Nantucket crap ” or Teddy and his beloved yacht…we all like where we live OK? we get that..yeah he liked to sailbig deal ..some folks don’t have All that much money for that stuff ,,old uncle tedwe need to move on people

Posted by Hartley | Report as abusive

Those who admire Ted Kennedy and what he represents have no respect for Sarah Palin for the simple reason that in her case, it’s “all about Sarah.” The opposite of Ted Kennedy. Sarah is still a child, though certainly a calculating child, not at all “innocent.” Sarah is petty. She does not have a huge heart like Kennedy, nor much of a brain. There is no comparison between the two. It is as if they belong to different species.

Posted by Florence | Report as abusive

exactly my argument florence thanks!,skim the surface with Teds imperfections (no mention )and demeanour Sarah in the same breath, a true democrat.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive