Our Friend Teddy Kennedy
You can read all you want about the achievements of Senator Teddy Kennedy all over the internet and news blogs and get more information than I could ever supply. This is just a personal thought on what the man meant to me. Some people have called Teddy the Liberal Lion of the United States Senate and that was a badge of honor he never shied from regarding the context or use of the title. He didn’t care what people thought of him but he made people care about what he thought was right for America. And in that mission, he never failed.
My dad was a WWII U.S. Navy veteran and a Korea veteran. He earned many a medals during his time in service to his nation and the greatest being a Purple Heart for having his leg scattered with shrapnel on Iwo Jima. Dad was a medic and he was caring for a downed Marine at the time of his injury. Eventually, he was glad to see that he didn’t lose his leg but he continued serving his country.
Dad always kept his medals and ribbons in the top drawer of his bedroom dresser and as kids will do, we thought they were cool. Seven kids, lots of pretty ribbons, medals, and the memories that were dad’s for the most part vanished with seven curious kids. Being a WWII history buff, reading every first edition book there was on the subject he could have taught a college class on it. Dad wanted to display his medals in a proper manner and found most if not all gone with the passing of time. Dad spent two plus years contacting the Navy, the VA, anyone in the military that might be able to help him replace all of his medals. At each contact he was stonewalled or not replied to at all. He had given up for the most part on ever seeing them again and it showed at times but he just figured nobody gave a crap about an old veteran.
My mother called Senator Kennedy’s office at the suggestion of a friend and was asked to simply mail a copy of Dad’s discharge papers from WWII and Korea. Two weeks later a box arrived in the mail from Senator Kennedy’s office with every medal Dad had earned in service to his country. My brother had them mounted around a picture of my father in his navy uniform as young man. It brought back so many memories for Dad and had him very emotionally shaken. That picture with all the medals was displayed at dad’s funeral and it was something to be very proud of. It now is proudly displayed on my living room wall. Right next to the picture of Grampa Jack and two of my baby girls.
Being a Senator isn’t always about giving the greatest speeches or standing strong for your beliefs. Sometimes its just about touching one persons heart by one simple little deed. And yet, many of the things that Teddy did for America, many people take for granted as the way it has always been. So not true. Their but for the grace of God traveled the Liberal Lion continuing and finishing the battles his brothers could not.
Rest in peace Teddy, we love ya and we will miss ya.