Sunday, August 30, 2009

Senator Kennedy's Funeral at Arlington

Here's some footage I took of Senator Kennedy's funeral procession approaching Arlington on Saturday. Someone I know and I stood there for couple of hours. The crowd was smaller than I had expected, dotted by the roadside, only one deep. But the event was moving, nonetheless...reminding one of Dealey Plaza, Dallas, 1963 and the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, 1968. It struck me that both Jack and Bobby were victims of terrorism...before we called it that. The 9/11 connection was there, somehow, as people waved flags, and the flag-draped coffin went by in the hearse. Earlier that morning the widow of a passenger on Pan Am 103 told me that Senator Kennedy personally called Lockerbie survivors, offered to help, and was instrumental in working out the original deal in which Libya turned al-Megrahi over for prosecution under Scottish law. (She added that there are plans for an anti-Ghaddafi protest when the Libyan dictator comes to New York to address the United Nations, featuring both Pan Am 103 and 9/11 family members). So, Kennedy was certainly aware of the connection.

One curious sight was the family waving from opened windows of funeral limousines and from the front windows of the buses-- about as many Kennedys as one could possibly see in a lifetime. So while sad, the procession had a Last Hurrah feel, of one last campaign, especially as buses passed by. Is that Caroline? Is that Victoria Reggie? Is that Teddy, Jr. Is that William Kennedy Smith?

Also interesting was that letter to the Pope read at the graveside, not just a personal matter, IMHO, for Senator Kennedy said he had asked for a "conscience objection" covering Catholic hospitals in any health care legislation. I'd say that the abortion, and indeed euthanasia, question should be settled by that note.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, campaigning, politicking and dealmaking to the very end--and beyond... video