Rockefeller on Kennedy Passing


“Sharon and I are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking news of Senator Ted Kennedy’s passing.

“The American people and the United States Senate have lost a touchstone. The cause of justice has lost its bravest and boldest champion. And I have lost a very dear friend.

“Because of Senator Ted Kennedy, we became a better, stronger, more inclusive nation. For 46 years, he was a legislative lion who gave voice to the voiceless – fighting for working families, civil rights, women's rights, health care for all, and transforming the lives of children, seniors, and Americans with disabilities. And in his private life he worked tirelessly to impact so many people with endless human acts of kindness that were never known to most but will always be treasured – he never stopped reaching to help people at every turn.

“Nearly every piece of legislation passed in the United States Senate bore his imprint and reflected his commitment to making life better for every American. It has been my honor to lock arms with him in many of these efforts – including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Serve America Act, which inspires young people to serve their country through public service.

“Ted and his family reached amazing heights and they inspired a nation – and each and every day of his life honored the fallen heroes we will always cherish.

“West Virginians had a special connection with Senator Kennedy and his entire family – he visited our state frequently over the years, and I was proud to welcome him here many times.

“So many West Virginians were touched by Senator Kennedy’s loving hand and their lives were improved by his tireless leadership. Together, we are all forever grateful for his service and his kind heart and we will miss him dearly. Now he belongs to the ages.”

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