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ACTION ALERT: Remembering Ted Kennedy


August 27, 2009
Friends, Family and Colleagues

“Edward M. Kennedy—the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply—died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever."

http://kennedy.senate.gov/

For more testimonials to Senator Kennedy and to leave your own memorial comments for the Kennedy family, go to the Senator's official government Web site at http://kennedy.senate.gov/



Family Statement

“Edward M. Kennedy—the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply—died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.

We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”


President Barack Obama

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.

In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.

For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.


Congressmember Dennis Kucinich

"I first met Senator Kennedy on May 4, 1971, when he visited me at St. Alexis Hospital in Cleveland. I was then a Cleveland City Councilman recovering from an injury and, somehow, he discovered I was in the hospital and paid a surprise visit to my room. He was visiting hospitals as part of his national effort to raise awareness of the need for reform of our health care system. I was elated to meet him. The visit began a friendship which has spanned four decades, during which time I had the privilege of serving with Senator Kennedy in the United States Congress.

His compassion and caring was always personal and always real. When my brother Perry died unexpectedly in December of 2007, Ted Kennedy was one of the first to call with condolences, sharing his sympathetic understanding of what it means to lose a sibling.

He had a powerful sensitivity to human emotion and his life writ large the range of human experience: great triumphs and sudden reversals. His tenacity often came against the heavy burden of deep personal tragedy, which enlarged the quality of his spirit, and made his frequent expressions of humor poignant and profound. Yes, he made himself into one of the greatest Senators, with his advocacy for human rights for health care, education and worker protections.

But Ted Kennedy was more than a great Senator. He was a great friend."


Public Citizen

Sen. Edward Kennedy was a dear friend of Public Citizen and a unique person in the Congress whose history and leadership will never be forgotten.

Public Citizen is delivering a card to Sen. Kennedy's office on behalf of our staff, members and supporters. We invite you to sign the card expressing your appreciation of Sen. Kennedy.

Few did as much to advance civil rights and social justice as Sen. Kennedy, who was also an early and longtime champion of health care for all. Over the years, he worked with Public Citizen on key public health and safety issues.

On our 35th anniversary, Sen. Kennedy called Public Citizen "an effective voice protecting the fundamental rights of all Americans." But the most effective voice over the past four decades was his.

Add your name to Public Citizen's card celebrating Sen. Kennedy's life and work.

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you know who will miss Sen. Kennedy. We'll be accepting signatures until noon EST on Monday, August 31.

Thank you for all you do!


MoveOn

The Lion is at rest.

Senator Teddy Kennedy passed away last night and our movement lost a hero. His leadership, his vision, and his passion will never be forgotten.

As we grieve, we must honor his memory and re-dedicate ourselves to his fight. Right now, let's listen to his words. Below is a powerful video that lots of MoveOn members are passing around this morning:

Video of Teddy Kennedy
• Click here to watch the video

Tonight, please light a candle in your window to memorialize him.

Tomorrow, as Senator Kennedy said, "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Tomorrow, let's re-commit ourselves to achieving the thing that mattered most to him: Quality, affordable health care for every single American.

Thank you for all you do.


Bob Menendez, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Senator Ted Kennedy was larger than life, and his passing has left an enormous hole in all of our hearts.

And while Teddy was without doubt the "greatest United States Senator of our time," as President Obama said today, the powerful were not his passion. Teddy cared for the least among us.

He fought for the young. The old. The sick. The poor. People struggling with disabilities. Those denied the basic civil rights all Americans are entitled.

As the last living of four brothers, Teddy knew grief. Maybe that's where his legendary compassion came from. If he were here, he'd know exactly what to do. He'd offer comforting words, a hand on the shoulder, a listening ear. His loss is our loss, indeed.

On behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Senator Kennedy's family and countless friends. We've truly lost a shining light.


Rep. Chris Van Hollen

With the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, a family lost its patriarch, the U.S. Senate lost its most gifted legislator, and America lost an unparalleled leader.

Senator Ted Kennedy was elected in Massachusetts, but to millions of Americans he was our Senator. A tenacious fighter for working men and women who share the belief that America is the greatest country in the world. His passion and purpose were dedicated to righting wrongs and ensuring that our better days are ahead.

Senator Kennedy said that 'health care is the fight of his life.' Today, we pick up the torch and recommit ourselves to health insurance reform.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Kennedy's wife, children - including our friend and colleague Patrick, his family, his friends, and his constituents.

Chris Van Hollen is chair of the DCCC.


Bob Fertik. Democrats.com

At the 2008 Democratic Convention, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Sen. Ted Kennedy said:

This is the cause of my life — new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — north, south, east, west, young, old — will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.

Kennedy chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). On July 15, Kennedy's committee passed the Affordable Health Choices Act, which "will reduce health costs, protect individuals' choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans."

It also includes a "strong public option that responds to the wishes of the American people to have a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies."

Tell your Representatives to honor Sen. Kennedy by passing real health reform:
http://www.democrats.com/honor-ted-kennedy?cid=ZGVtczM4NzkzZGVtcw==

Senator Kennedy was too ill to vote for this bill, but he praised its passage:

Americans are an extraordinary people. We have created a nation of liberty and justice. We have defeated forces of oppression, and we have spread prosperity and progress across the globe. When the American people are on the march, there is no barrier that can resist them, no obstacle that can block their path.

The American people are on the march once more , and they will not stop until quality, affordable health care is the birthright of every American. And we are with them every step of the way.


We, the American people, are "on the march." As my Representative, I urge you to act quickly to honor Senator Ted Kennedy by passing real health reform — including a strong public option that offers "a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies."

Sign the petition.

Thanks for all you do!





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