Readers on Kennedy: Chappaquiddick, strength
Varied reflections from msnbc.com users on his most indelible moments
NBC's Brian Williams looks back at the charmed childhood, family tragedies and political career of U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Remembering Ted Kennedy
Sen. Kennedy’s life and legacy
Aug. 26: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has died at the age of 77 after battling a brain tumor. TODAY’s Matt Lauer takes a look back at the liberal stalwart’s remarkable life and
Get more coverage by following @msnbc_politics.
updated 10:15 a.m. PT, Wed., Aug 26, 2009
NEW YORK - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has died at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at the age of 77. Here are some of your thoughts on his life and legacy:
I met Ted Kennedy by literally running into him some forty years ago. I was in Washington with my aunt and we were to pick up tickets for a special tour of the White House from our then Senator Phil Hart (MI). In hurrying around a corner in the Senate Office Bldg., I ran right into Ted Kennedy. Instead of just giving us directions he esorted up to Senator Hart's office and introduced us. I will never forget his thoughtfulness and kindness. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
--Jean Baker, Savannah, GA (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Chappaquidick and his totally unbelievable account of what happened.
--Anonymous , MA (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
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The poor, the downtrodden, the repressed and depressed, the helpless and hopeless, the hungry children in America and every person who cannot afford health care have lost their savior.
--Anonymous , Winter Park, FL (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
I am privileged to have known Sen. Kennedy. Each time He and Vicki visited Reagan airport,we used to sit and talk about the business of the day. I especially enjoyed when He and Michael took his dogs across the road and walked them. I received a couple of letters from the Senator thanking me for my help, especially when He and Vicki returned from the campaign trail and she was in a wheelchair. I will miss our visits. Please convey my deepest symphathy to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family. I have since retired from the airport but still remember the good times.
--Robert Dickinson, Owings, MD (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Born a.m. 11/22/1963. Always felt close to Kennedys. Ted was a pillar.
--Anonymous (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Chappaquiddick still speaks volumes... May God have mercy on his soul...
--Anonymous (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
When I was 10 years old, Ted Kennedy came to Rhode Island to speak at the dedication of the Dudley Richards skating rink. In college, Dudley Richards and Ted Kennedy were roomates and remained friends until the untimley death of Dudley Richards in the plane crash that killed the Olympic skating rink. This dedication was May 30 ,1969.
--Tammy Cancilla, Wake Forest, NC (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
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FirstPerson: Send your thoughts on Kennedy
Senator Kennedy was instrumental in my life as a 11-month-old daughter of an American who lost his life on 12/24/1944 on a ship called the SS Leapoldville. There were over 700 men who were lost that Christmas Eve 1944 in the English Channel. Sentor Kennedy worked with survivors to have this brought to light and give them the recognition they deserved. Elsa Svenningsen, daughter of PFC Elmer L Svenningsen. God bless the Kennedys as well of all Americans on this sad day.
--Elsa Svenningsen, Mpls, MN (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
I don't have a photo or video, only a picture in my mind of a tragic, white-haired figure on the deck of a boat as the remains of JFK Jr. were brought up from the ocean after the plane crash that took his life. To me this symbolizes the strength and love of family that Ted Kennedy had, and used to bring them all intact through the tragedies that marred their lives. Rest in peace, Teddy! We are better off for having you...
--Mary Wolf, Glastonbury, CT (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
My own dear father died at 77. He was a staunch Democrat. When it was clear he would die and had struggled to vote in his last election, I asked Senator Kennedy to write to my father who lived in Wisconsin. Although it could do nothing for the Senator's career, he wrote a lovely personal note to my dad. He died soon after. He cherished that letter and today 23 years later, I do as well.
--Mary Murphy, Mequon, WI (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
On an emotional and personal level, his eulogy at the funeral of his brother Robert Kennedy deeply moved me. I was a teenager at the time, at home watching the funeral mass with my parents, and still greatly emotionally affected by the assination of President Kennedy five years earlier. I still remember the words as his voice broke and he struggled to maintain his composure. "(He was) remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." My eyes welled with tears.
--Michael McWilliams (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
My most memorable moment of his life is how he got away with the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. To me, that is his legacy.
--Anonymus Patriot (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Thank you for all you have done for humanity. May God grant you the best resting place and unite you with the family you love and miss. History will not forget you, and future generation will learn from your example.
--Azeb Alfred, Addis Ababa (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
He was a good chap and not a quitta.
--Jodie Jackson, Columbia, MO (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
The bridge accident!
--Linda Pyle, Moses Lake,, WA (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Chappaquiddick - Mary Jo Kopechne
--Robert Tuinstra, MI (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
My sympathy goes out to the family, friends, and loved ones of Senator Ted Kennedy. However, his legacy was etched in stone on the night of July 18, 1969, when he bailed out of his car and left Mary Jo Kopechne to drown in order to save his political future in some form. May her family finally have closure and may she rest in peace.
--Debbie Maddox, Pavo, GA (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Thinking of the Kennedy family, I am transported back to Port St. Joe, Fla. to November 22, 1963 when I was in the fifth grade and working on a social studies project of drawing the White House. The teacher, Mr. Huey, stopped us and turned on the television, which was rare in the 60’s for a television to be in a classroom in small town schools. He told us the President that we had just learned about had been shot. We watched the video on the TV and it seemed that every time the television was on for months that is what we saw. The support that Robert, then Ted gave to the families has always impressed me. The cameras never stopped running and never will on the life of the Kennedy family.
--Anonymous , Marianna, FL (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
What a total loss to this country. Ted was truly a man of, for and by the people. He was totally committed to the lives of the common man in his efforts to extend health care to the poor and children. For a man of means, he clearly understood what it must have been like not to have. What a contrast to the greed that now permeates those left on the hill making decisions not help the common man. It's time for those in Congress to really look at the man and woman in the mirror and do the right thing with health care legislation in his memory. What a very sad day for America and the world. My thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family today.
--Anonymous , North Miami, FL (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Dear Kennedy Family, I grew up with the Kennedys and I wish my blessings to you all. We will miss him, but know in our hearts that God son is know home.
--Jeanette Fitz-Simmons, Wichita, KS (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Senator Kennedy is a true American patriot. For a man knowing that he is dying and concerned about what will happen in his country when he dies, what more can you ask of a public servant. We all can be replaced but not duplicated in our patriotism. I hope that I can always be concerned with my community and fellow Americans. That is my most memorable moment and that was within the last couple of weeks.
--Kenneth Click, Southport, NC (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
I remember exactly where I was when I learned of the murder of Mary Jo Kopechne 40 years ago. I remember exactly where I was when I saw the photo of Ted Kennedy in his boxer shorts following the arrest of his nephew for raping a woman in Ted Kennedy's mansion in Florida. I remember and cannot shake the vivid reality of the privileges of the elite class that Ted Kennedy represents to so many of us.
--Ron Schneider (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
When I was a freshman in college, Ted Kennedy came to the campus to speak. It was an outside event with a stage built up on pedestals so all could see him. Just as he started to speak, two dogs started scrapping underneath the stage. Ted started his speech with " Yes, that's just like those Republicans to start a fight amongst us!" He was terrific. I'm sure everyone there voted for JFK because Ted was so personable. What a loss to all who care about health reform. Remember him and stay strong!
--Anonymous , Seaside, OR (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
Having spent my formative years in Massachusetts, college, MBA, then my 1st job, the name Kennedy will forever be associated with the State, and the city of Boston. Having been a Democrat since I reached legal age, I think Kennedy conviced me just as much as the ideals and platform of the Democratic party. The Kennedy name will always be synonimous be the Democratic party. I only wish today's politican on Capital Hill carries the same charm, charisma, and work ethics as that man!
--peter lui, Beijing, China (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
In 1972 I was flying from West Palm Beach to Orlando for a job interview . Teddy and a couple of Robert Kennedy's kids who were probably in college were with him at the small airport resturant. As he had no body guards, I was looking out at everyone coming in and out of the area as my boomer generation had witnessed the murders of his brothers and oddly enough I felt an obligation to watch out for anyone who might wich him harm. Teddy had no such focus. His attention was completly on his nephews and as they were about to depart he handed them each some spending money and wished them luck. He had a big smile on his face and I'm sure Bobby's kids really appreciated him. A great Senator, yes, but and even better uncle!
--Joe Terranella, Matthews, NC (submitted on Aug. 26, 2009)
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