The last day and night have had me return to old memories of my idealistic youth. With Edward Moore Kennedy's passing--hopefully to greater peace--stories of his life and deeds are on the air waves and with them the stories of his famous brothers. I am not Irish but I do wish to hear Irish songs and and tales of past with less maudlin feeling but with the hope and joy these men brought to our lives. I want to recall the vibrancy of the Jack Kennedy administration, the idealism of Robert Kennedy's life, and the hard work that Edward (Teddy) engaged in after his brothers were felled by assassins bullets.
I am a New York born Puerto Rican American who knows the ideals these men carried, for they were fostered in my being by the good nuns of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and my Mother, Escolastica Oquendo. My Dad, Ernesto Arroyo Rodriguez was a quiet man and rarely shared his political or social beliefs. He did work hard, however, and supported me so I imagine he must have agreed with Mom and me.
All of the thoughts connected with my family, my ideals, my hopes and dreams for the United States and all people living within it are intimately linked to the lives of the work the Kennedy Family has done and continues to do for our country. Like many other USAmericans of my generation, I feel that this special USAmerican family is also my family. If I tear up or cry hardily it is because I feel this kinship strongly. So I also pray for those Kennedys who remain behind at this additional loss.
However in Ted Kennedy's life there s much to be celebrated and their were great joys as he took on the role of father figure for his numerous nieces and nephews. Losing a parent is hard and I am certain from the devotion to him from those nieces and nephews that he did the best he could to fill in for his fallen brothers.
For these reasons I honor them with the passing of the last of the original Kennedy Brothers. My new hope is that the Kennedy family is joined by more of us who have the same ideals to make much of the incomplete tasks for the United States and its citizen an accomplished fact.
I pray that more of us can understand that the label "Liberal" is a positive one --one that aspires associations with the best of the United States and its people.
I pray that we can begin to remember the interconnections between all of us and work together for the greater good of all.
I pray that bottom line thinking about education and health no longer be the final means of evaluating what we do for our children, sick, or elderly.