ROBERT F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IN DENVER
* Those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to make it to Denver for the DNC, here’s what you missed Wednesday. The Kennedy family, friends, and longtime supporters gathered at the Brown Palace Hotel to remember RFK and celebrate his legacy.
We bring you coverage of this star-studded event from local and national sources below. According to all accounts we’ve heard so far, RFK Jr. was the star of the show!
The New York Daily News certainly thought so…check out this glowing review:
Bobby Kennedy Jr. politely dodged questions about his political future now that Hillary Clinton won’t be vacating her U.S. Senate seat. But he gave such a rousing speech at a Denver benefit for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial on Wednesday that admirers urged him to run for something soon.
Building on the emotional appearance of Uncle Ted at the Democratic convention two days earlier, Kennedy departed from his usual environmental concerns to connect his father’s mission with the state of America today.
“When I was 13, I went on a trip to Europe with my father and mother,” he recalled. “We went to Czechoslovakia and Poland and Germany. We were greeted by hundreds of thousands of people, who came to hear an American politician. It wasn’t because [President Kennedy] had been martyred three years before. Even when Eisenhower went to Kabul and Tehran, he was met by thousands of Muslims who carried American flags.
“It took 230 years of discipline and restrained leadership by Republican and Democratic Presidents to build up a reservoir of love for the U.S. In the last seven years, through incompetence, we have drained those reservoirs dry.”
Kennedy went on to indict the Bush administration for “torture, suspending habeas corpus and eavesdropping on hundreds of thousands of people.”
Naturally, the call to arms was cheered by the Democratic crowd, who included New York Gov. David Patterson, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Rev. Al Sharpton, Fran Drescher, Aisha Taylor, Gloria Rubin and Giancarlo Esposito.
Though Ted Kennedy was back in Massachusetts continuing his cancer treatment, 80-year-old Ethel Kennedy came with a flock of children and grandchildren. Her daughter Kerry, who’s been at the front of the RFK Memorial’s human rights crusade, told us she’s thought about running, “but I’m divorced with three kids. Right now, I want to be a mother.”
What about rumors that her increasingly visible cousin, Caroline Kennedy, might run for office?
“I don’t know,” said Kerry, “but she’d be so great. She really has the capacity to bring people together.” Bobby agreed: “We’d all be delighted to see her [run].”
Meanwhile, Gov. Patterson confirmed that the Triborough Bridge would be officially renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge on Nov. 19.
* Here’s what the local Denver CBS affiliate had to say of the RFK Memorial event:
DENVER (CBS4) ― The Democrats are celebrating their historic nomination this week as Barack Obama becomes the first African American candidate from a major party to run for president. But the party is also celebrating its heritage and the Kennedy family has been the focus of several events.
Many of the Kennedys joined other dignitaries to honor the legacy of another member of the family, Robert F. Kennedy, on Wednesday.
There were Kennedys everywhere: Ethel, Patrick, Robert Jr., Kathleen and Max were all at the event. Also on hand were the Clintons, Gov. Paterson of New York and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.
“The life he lived was based on hope and bringing the people together,” Max said. “If you look just at that one photograph of my dad with Cesar Chavez breaking bread together … I think that encapsulates the idea of the United States coming together for the first time.”
“He was also one that stepped outside the establishment,” Rev. Al Sharpton said. “To oppose the war in Vietnam he showed courage, he showed vision and ultimately it cost him his life.”
The event was held by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, an organization that focuses on human rights and social justice.
VIDEO of the event is available on the CBS4Denver website…the link probably won’t be active for long, so check it out while you can!