Memories of Ted will live forever
Although the work of an intern is mundane, O’Dwyer was far from disappointed.
“I remember that Ted would always know who we were and would ask us about our lives. Needless to say we were thrilled, so my personal admiration of Ted Kennedy stated well before my 21st birthday.”
O’Dwyer over the years developed a friendship with Kennedy. He recalls the senator’s disappointment at the failure of his immigration bill.
“I remember him coming to me and saying, ‘Take a look at the bill Brian, I sure took care of the Irish.’ He never forgot a friend or an enemy, but constantly strived to make sure bridges were built and gaps overcome,” said O’Dwyer.
“He profoundly influenced my life and an entire generation of Irish Catholics. We will not see the likes of him again.”
“The heavens opened and poured at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help as the world bid farewell, to the ‘senator of perpetual help,’ writes Hill in an email.
“In the once Irish ghetto of Roxbury, Massachusetts, it was perhaps all the more fitting for a man who dedicated his life to furthering the cause of the disposed and the downtrodden of the United States, that he would lie in repose amidst the dilapidated buildings of Roxbury.”
Hill said it wasn’t the eulogies from the pulpit that “summed up the measure of this great man,” but the quiet “respectful stories” from the general public.
While Hill was shopping for a dress for his daughter, Saoirse, on Main Street in Martha’s Vineyard, the owner of the store told Hill that Kennedy had helped her husband get a visa to come to the U.S.
Hill remembers Kennedy’s push on race equality and his stance on justice.
“A cop in Boston once told me, ‘We'd still be at the bottom of the ladder, but he didn't just help us up, he instilled in us that once we got up, it is our duty to reach our hand down, and help the next person up,” Hill said.
“Many great things will be penned in the memory of this man, and as ever there are those who will attempt to dwell on his frailties in life. It is in this regard that when we recall Teddy, we recall that he was all to human, but in the twilight of his life the good vastly out weighed his frailties,” he added.