“An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” President Barack Obama said in a written statement. “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time.”
The youngest of the Kennedy family, Ted Kennedy was a liberal democrat who served four decades in the Senate and whose accomplishments include progress in education, health care, voting rights and minimum wage. Kennedy also worked hand-in-hand with Republicans to pass milestone legislation in these areas of concern.
Stalked by tragedy, the Kennedy family has been particularly affected by their political standing. Starting with the death of Joseph Jr. who died in an airplane crash in World War II, followed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1960, and ending with the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 while on campaign, the Kennedy family has not be spared tragedy. Even Ted Kennedy’s career was shadowed by scandal when he drove a car into a pond that killed his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aid to Robert Kennedy.
But what Americans are really remembering is Ted Kennedy’s legacy of service to the American people. President Obama hopes that “the torch will be passed to a new generation of Americans,” he said. “The hope rises again and the dream lives on.”
Ted Kennedy had been fighting brain cancer, after he was diagnosed last year. He is remembered by his family as well as the American people for his lifelong service to this country.