On the 50th Anniversary of the death of Bobby Kennedy
From Executive Director, Linda Saris, to her staff at LEAP for Education:
Most of you reading this were not born or too young to remember RFK. There has been a lot of news this week on this 50th anniversary of his death at age 42 and today I was reminded of one of his famous quotes that I thought I would share. Bobby Kennedy was running for President against the Democratic backed candidate Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Senator Humphrey was the establishment candidate and defender of the War in Vietnam. Humphrey to his credit was also an early supporter of the Civil Rights legislation that passed earlier in the decade, a brilliant orator and well-respected in the Democratic community.
The youth of America went full out for Senator Kennedy in opposition to the Vietnam War mostly, but also because he was a voice for change and hope. I was in high school at the time of his death. RFK inspired youth across the nation and youth who were protesting all over the country for civil rights, women’s rights and against the War, inspired him.
Here is a quote from a speech he made:
The cruelties and the obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. . . . This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease. . . . It is a revolutionary world that we all live in; it is the young people who must take the lead. Thus you, and your young compatriots everywhere, have had thrust upon you a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived.
Read Kerry Kennedy’s column (RFK’s daughter) in today’s Boston Globe (where I got the quote). Like in the 60’s, the youth (many of you) today are our future’s hope for change. “The burden of responsibility” today may even be greater than it was in the 60’s.
Thank you for all the work you do to make this country better and for inspiring me, each other, and the youth we serve. Let us all not forget to listen to the youth and get inspired by them.