A small tribute to my hero, Robert F. Kennedy, Sr.

Robert Francis Kennedy, Sr.

November 20, 1925 - June 6, 1968

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Many years ago, when John F. Kennedy became our 35th president, I was just a bit over four years old.  It goes without saying that I don't remember much about that time in history.  I do remember his tragic and senseless assassination three years later. This has stayed with me all these years.  I treasured JFK; and I happen to think he was our best and greatest president ever, despite his downfalls.

However, my hero, my idol, my everything in history was and still is his younger brother, Bobby.  I was nearly 12 when he was brutally and senselessly assassinated.  It was during the summer of 1968 (June 5 to be exact).  I remember this well and am still feeling the pain.  When the news came that our precious RFK was gone, I took it as hard as if he had been my own father. Even at that young age, I knew what kind of man he was.  Robert F. Kennedy stood for everything good, IMO.  I treasured him so much and still do to this very day.  I knew without any doubts that he was going to be our next president, no doubt our greatest. However, it is obvious someone did not want that to happen.

Excerpts from one of the speeches given by RFK (April 4, 1968):

"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country whether they be white or whether they be black."  (RFK1.wav)

"We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder."

"Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people."

Ironically, two months and one day later, RFK was brutally shot down!

Bobby was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1925, the third son of Joseph and Rose Kennedy.  

He attended Harvard, served in the United States Navy during WW II, served as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice in 1951, left that post to manage his older brother's senatorial campaign in 1952, returned to government services as counsel to several Senate subcommittees following JFK's campaign, and gained national prominence as the chief counsel of the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee in 1955-57 during it's investigation of Teamster Union execs, David Beck and Jimmy Hoffa.  

Bobby was appointed United States Attorney General in 1960 (after his brother was elected President of the United States) where he was very active in the enforcement of civil rights laws.  

He resigned that post in 1964 and was elected as a United States senator from New York where he showed himself to be greatly concerned with problems surrounding urban ghettos, the poor, and the disadvantaged.

In the spring of 1968, Bobby campaigned for the Democratic party nomination for presidency of the United States.  By June, it seemed pretty clear that he was going to be the Democratic Party's next representative for the presidency.  He had won several major primaries, including Indiana, Nebraska, and California.  It was on June 5, following his celebratory speech in Los Angeles, that his personal dreams and hopes for a better world ended when he was brutally gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan.  Our beloved Bobby died the following day; and a stunned nation grieved for yet another wonderful Kennedy.

His brother, Ted, eulogised him with tear filled eyes and shaky voice; and I still remember it well.   It was a beautiful tribute to his brother, one which still brings heavy pain in my heart and many tears to my eyes.

Immediate family history:  

Robert Francis Kennedy, born November 20, 1925 in Brookline, Massachusetts, died June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles, California, married Ethel Shakel June 17, 1950 in Greenwich, Connecticut, daughter of George Shakel and Ann Brannack.

Children of Robert Kennedy and Ethel Shakel:

Kathleen Hartington Kennedy, born July 4, 1951 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, born September 4, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr., born January 17, 1954 in Washington, D.C.

David Anthony Kennedy, born June 15, 1955 in Washington, D.C.

Mary Courtney Kennedy, born September 9, 1956 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, born February 27, 1958 in Washington, D.C.

Mary Kerry Kennedy, born September 8, 1959 in Washington, D.C.

Christopher George Kennedy, born July 4, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, born January 9, 1965 in New York, New York.

Douglas Harriman Kennedy, born March 24, 1967 in Washington, D.C.

Rory Elizabeth Kennedy, born December 12, 1968 in Washington, D.C.

Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. has left a huge legacy in 11 children (nine living to date) and numerous grandchildren.  His life lives on in his heirs!

I have to admit that in the recent past, I have become even more engrossed with my hero after seeing The Kennedys on PBS's "The American Experience, The Presidents" -- reading everything I can find about him and his whole family, and watching every documentary and video that I can find with regards to The Kennedy family.  There are many websites out there regarding The Kennedys, and I think I have seen them all now!

I never "forgot" about my hero -- no way that will ever happen.  However,  "life goes on" and these pieces of history just seem to go by the wayside at times.  

One of my ultimate dreams  as a child was to meet Bobby in person and ask for a big hug; but, unfortunately, that dream became the impossible dream rather quickly. Who knows for sure, but when it is my time to go, I now dream that I will be able to meet him in Heaven and ask for that big hug.

The impact of his death on me seemed to be so much heavier than the death of his brother, not only because Bobby was my idol but it seemed like history was repeating itself all over again, except that Bobby was killed before he was able to become president.  It seemed impossible that this could happen again and again and again.  First JFK, then Martin Luther King, and now Bobby......three men who wanted peace, love, harmony...three men who were good, honest, caring men....three men who wanted to change things and have a nation made of all that is good.  To this day, I still shake my head in disbelief that all of this happened.  The sad reality is that they were murdered to stop their hopes and dreams! 

It has always been a huge question in my mind as to WHY.  Why was JFK murdered so brutally and so senselessly?  Why was RFK murdered so brutally and senselessly? WHY, WHY, WHY?

I took it for granted that what I saw on the news and learned through history books in schools and libraries was fact.  Afterall, it is supposed to be the truth, you know.

Now, I am asking why the cover-ups?  Why was justice never done so these great men can finally rest in peace?  Of course, there is no doubt in my mind that I will never know those answers.  The facts, as I see them now, are quite clear as to why both Kennedy men were murdered; though, in this country that is supposed to be the greatest country in the world, I cannot understand it.  The criminals behind the conspiracies to rid our country of those two great men were selfish and greedy; and it seems to appear that doing away with two of the greatest men to ever walk the earth was the only way they could get what they wanted -- and that is exactly what they did.

It was not coincidence that these two men were brutally murdered -- two men who wanted nothing but good for all of us.  It's frightening to think they were murdered just because they were good people and wanted to change the country to make it a better place, but it's what I believe to be truth now.

I personally want to remember Bobby Kennedy for all he was (and still is in my heart). I loved you then, Bobby, and I love you now more than ever. You are my greatest American hero, always and forever.

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The backgrounds were created in Bobby's memory.  Please do not take them! Thanks!

7-17-99 Please pray for John F. Kennedy, Jr. :-(

7-25-99 May God keep you close at all times, John!
You will be missed tremendously!
It is my hope that you are getting to know your dad now!!!!
Rest in peace!

This site was created on February 24, 1998! Last updated September 26, 2002!

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