Ted Kennedy’s only surviving brother Robert was shot and killed on June 5, 1968. Three days later, the 36-year-old Senator from Massachusetts gave a memorable eulogy, excerpted below, for his older brother at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

On behalf of Mrs. Kennedy, her children, and the parents and sisters of Robert Kennedy, I want to express what we feel to those who mourn with us today in this Cathedral and around the world. We loved him as a brother and as a father and as a son. From his parents, and from his older brothers and sisters — Joe and Kathleen, and Jack — he received an inspiration which he passed on to all of us. He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness. He will always be by our side.

Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and he lived it intensely….

...My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.


For the full text of Ted Kennedy’s tribute to his brother, along with an audio recording, visit the Web site of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum at http://www.jfklibrary.org/

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