July 3, 2011

A 22-minute standing ovation, with tears. 1964.

Remembering what is best in an ever-awakening America: in honor of July 4th.

Broken yet more Awake; Tradition’s strength & Tragedy’s blessings.

‘When he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.’

Tribute to John F. Kennedy
Shakespeare poem ‘Romeo and Juliet’ cited by Robert F. Kennedy
Atlantic City, New Jersey
August 27, 1964

Watch the first 3:40 of the below video, the first part of a bio, American Experience, of Robert F. Kennedy—an American leader and icon who continually evolved and woke up as a human being throughout his career, and would have been our president, most assuredly, if he had not become the third Kennedy son to die violently, and be lost to us too soon.

Apparently the crowd roared for 22 minutes, in total, before allowing a stunned, broken RFK to speak.



This next video shows a moment before he took the stage. It’d be great to find a video that showed his introduction, and the swell of applause and emotion as he took the podium.

The next three videos show the pandemonium, and his famous, stunned, tragic, broken-hearted face and eyes. When he finally started and finished his speech, he exited, sat on a fire escape, and wept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weShWAFrPbM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcf4AqDl9L8&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz5HfmCSZi0&feature=related

Strangely, in the sadness and weight and tears, even in the complicated legacy that is the 60s and the Kennedy clan, I find solace and renewed hope in our political process. For out of all this pain came the Great Society, LBJ’s consumately skilled, successful push of what otherwise would likely have been JFK’s failed agenda that had stalled on the Hill. And Civil Rights, and the activist movement, and the feminist awakening: the 60s remind us that in breaking what is old and stagnant, we find renewed strength.

And now, ironically, we look back at the Kennedys and remember what is best of our own history in their handsome, beautiful, tanned, athletic, competitive confidence. For it is what and where we come from that brings us to this present moment. And yet it is in loss and brokenness that we may, if we so choose, become better, continually.

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