We put to rest one of the most important politicians of our generation. He never served as president, but afterall, a president only serves 4 years, and Ted served 47--he got way more done as a senator than I think he ever would have as president.
A flawed human being for sure, and MaryJo Kopeckne will never be forgotten. I do think that he was drunk that night, and that informed his decision making. Is that an excuse? No. But, I do think it allows us to see him in another way besides a monster who simply let her die. How many of us have been drunk like that and not really in control of ourselves?
But as a senator, I think we will never see the likes of him again. He was from a generation that is now gone. A generation where if you were given riches, you had a duty to help others. People simply don't think that way today. If you are rich, you flaunt it and there is never enough. They simply want to amass more. Ted Kennedy wealth was one of the reasons he could be trusted as a senator. He couldn't be bought by a lobbyist--he had enough of his own.
In looking at photos from the funeral, I was struck the the photograph below. A man, sitting alone and obviously early out of respect and reverence--waiting.