Loren Wood: Remembering Robert F. Kennedy
Fifty years? It does not seem possible, but 50 years ago on June 6, 1968, Robert Kennedy passed away as the result of an assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.
Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy became a great American during a short lifetime: receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, serving as a U.S. senator from New York, serving as the U.S attorney general and running as a candidate for president of the United States until his passing.
On April 24, 1968, I was in the audience of 4,000 people at Indiana University to hear what would be one of Robert Kennedy’s final speeches. Shortly before the end of the speech, I went to the side entrance of the IU Auditorium and was able to stand next to the convertible car, which would carry RFK. I knew I was in presence of greatness and stood there in awe and silence.
At Robert Kennedy’s funeral on June 8, 1968, brother Ted Kennedy remembered RFK with these words: “My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, who saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”
I might add that RFK was also a great unifier who saw division and brought people closer together.
Robert Kennedy was loved and admired by many people. On June 8, 1968, one million Americans lined the railroad tracks from New York City to Washington, D.C. to pay their respects as the Bobby Kennedy funeral train passed by.
If you are a young person or have young children, please make sure they know the legacy of Robert Kennedy.
In closing, it would be fitting to remember the most famous quote attributed to Robert Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.”
Rest in peace RFK, you will never be forgotten.
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