Saturday, August 29, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

I watched the tribute to Edward Kennedy live from the JFK Library in Boston last night. It was a moving celebration of this larger-than-life man's life.

Nobody thankfully, talked about the tragedies that this man had endured in his private life under the spotlight where the critics were and still are, so harshly unforgiving. No one is perfect. This man lost three brothers - one during WW11 and the remaining two, to an assassin's bullet. He came from a family of achievers - a precedent set by a not-so-nice father and had a great deal to live up to. People with far less on their plates have turned to the bottle and women. I am not condoning his somewhat shady past but he did admit publicly to his shortcomings and took full responsibility for his irresponsible actions. When he did get his act together, he turned out to be possibly the greatest Senator of our time.

Last night his family, friends and colleagues and members of both parties told wonderful stories about him that unfortunately never reached the press. Good stories don't always make the newspapers because, let's face it, good news rarely sells newspapers. As one person whom he had helped said 'if only they knew'.

Teddy Kennedy loved to sing. I know all about that coming from Irish stock on my father's side. So when they closed the evening with a wonderful rendition of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" my eyes filled with tears. For the first time during the amazing tribute, I cried. Not only for someone I did not know but for my childhood memories and the memory of my father's eyes filling with tears whenever he sang an Irish ballad, especially when we all broke out into "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".


  1. Lovely tribute to a man with a good heart.

  2. That was a nice tribute, Bee. And I do agree with you on his past and his later contributions. I do admire his service to his country.

  3. I have not been able emotionally to sit down and watch large chunks of memories of Teddy. I tear up too fast and cannot see the screen. I cry through Irish Eyes are Smiling and Danny Boy at the best of times.

    So I have been taking my farewell to an amazing man in short CNN and ABC videos. One of the parts that really got to me what his "History Days" when he would take the children, grand children and great grand children on an outing to some moment of the history of the United States.

    Our schools do so badly in imparting the important parts of our nation's history. And too many parents and grand parents are into taking the kids to Chucky Cheese instead.

    My wish is for Americans to take away the message of this man and put it to use in their own lives. Stay engaged with your offspring, impart the lessons you have learned to those younger, and always know the facts before you form an opinion.

  4. Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.

    I think it is important for everyone to learn lessons here the main one being that one can, with determination overcome even the worst possible events in out lives. our experiences make us what we are and Edward Kennedy's experiences made him into the person he was when he died. Privileged he may have been but he was a man who was able to understand the feelings of those less fortunate than himself. In his busy life, he still had time to dedicate one day a week to teaching under-priviledged children. Again, as one person said 'if only they knew'.

  5. Yes indeed a wonderful man who emerged triumphant from many tragic episodes in his life. A man with great courage and lessons from which we can all learn.


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