“We loved him as a brother, and as a father, and as a son. From his parents, and from his older brothers and sisters — Joe and Kathleen and Jack — he received an inspiration which he passed on to all of us. He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness. He will always be by our side.
Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and he lived it intensely.
A few years back, Robert Kennedy wrote some words about his own father which express the way we in his family felt about him. He said of what his father meant to him, and I quote:
‘What it really all adds up to is love — not love as it is described with such facility in popular magazines, but the kind of love that is affection and respect, order and encouragement, and support. Our awareness of this was an incalculable source of strength, and because real love is something unselfish and involves sacrifice and giving, we could not help but profit from it.’
That is what Robert Kennedy was given. What he leaves to us is what he said, what he did, and what he stood for…
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; but to be 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.
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.
As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:
‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and ask why not.'”
From Edward Kennedy’s eulogy for his brother, Robert, which was given forty-five years ago today. Put Robert’s best words on your shelf: Make Gentle the Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy.
It hits me every time I hear his voice break when he says “Jack” at the opening of the eulogy. Watch a clip of that portion of the speech below.
The pictures below are of Bobby on the night that he was assassinated in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
His assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, claimed that he shot Kennedy because he felt betrayed by his support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War.