The Commonwealth Comment

Friday, August 28, 2009

And the dream shall never die

My alarm clock buzzed at 6:00 this morning. I wanted to get to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library early. The line waiting to pay respects to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy stretched across the UMass Boston campus the night before and thousands of people waited long hours for only a few moments to say goodbye. I pinned a Kennedy campaign button to my shirt and headed out the door.

I met my friend, Nicolette, at the Park Street T station at 7:30 and we were on the red line to JFK/UMass in no time. Once we arrived in Dorchester, we were squished onto a shuttle with other Kennedy admirers to bring us to the JFK Library.

Our stint in the long line started at 8:00. It was a tremendous group of diverse people. Young, old, black, white, Asian, and even more. There was even a large Native American man dressed in full Pequot robes present to pay tribute to the senator. The Reverend Jesse Jackson even made his way along the line shaking hands before making his way into the library.

As Nicolette and I made it through the doors (after about 45 minutes in line), we were immediately greeted by large photos of Ted Kennedy as a boy with his brothers Jack and Bobby, and as an older senator. The flag draped casket was sitting in the Smith Room overlooking the ocean, Boston's skyline was silhouetted beyond the water. There is no better place for the senator to lie in repose.

The room was in complete silence as we circled around the casket. I said a short, silent prayer for the senator and his family. The whole tone was extremely respectful. I got to the far side of the room and was greeted by the outstretched hand of Kara Kennedy, Ted's daughter. She thanked me for coming, and I in return thanked her for sharing her father with all of us. She then notice my button, which reads "If I were 21, I'd vote for Kennedy". With a smile she jokingly asked if I was 21 yet. I laughed and told her yes, and that I voted for her father in his last campaign.

Once I was back outside, I walked over and placed a small thank you note to the senator among the flowers sitting against the building.

The Kennedys have so much money and influence. They could keep it all to themselves and live down on Cape Cod without a care in the world. But instead, they use it to advance the cause of all people and that those in need. They live by the bible verse Luke 12:48, "Of those to whom much is given, much is expected." So, he has championed civil rights, women's rights, higher minimum wage, education reform, universal healthcare, among countless other issues.

If we all do our best to live our lives in the service of others, we can assure that Senator Ted Kennedy's dream will never die.

God Bless you, Senator Kennedy, and thank you for your service.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weapons at Obama Rallies

Heathcare reform is a touchy subject in the United States these days. But outside of events where the President of the United States is speaking in favor of heathcare reform, some opponents are packing heat.

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, an opponent of President Obama's proposal had a handgun strapped to his leg. Today outside of the president's speech at the VFW convention in Arizona, 2 protesters were carrying automatic assault rifles. One of them was in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle and shouted anti-Obama rhetoric.

Sounds illegal, right? Wrong. Arizona is called an open-carry state, which means people are allowed to carry firearms in public as long as they are visible. So, these folks are being defended as just exercising their Second Amendment rights...

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Last time I checked, a couple of guys shouting about the president while holding assault rifles doesn't qualify as a militia, and it is far from being well regulated.

Guns and flaring tempers are a bad mix, especially when the first African-American president in the nation's history is the target of the outrage. NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED NEAR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH A LOADED FIREARM!

How about instead of exercising Second Amendment rights, the people opposed to President Obama's healthcare reform proposal try exercising some common sense?

Labels: ,