Ted Kennedy has died, bringing an end to the elder Kennedy dynasty that's been at the forefront of American politics for decades. The Massachusetts Senator was the second most senior member of the Senate behind Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and the third longest serving senator in U.S. history.
While his politics were the polar opposite of my own, I always enjoyed following Kennedy, mainly because he was so willing to stretch his hand across the aisle. As the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee he became known as "The Lion of the Senate" with more than 300 of his bills becoming law. One of those, occured when he traveled with former President George W. Bush to my hometown to sign "The No Child Left Behind Act," at my former high school. On that day it didn't matter what his political background was. In fact it made it all the more special because he was so far left of President Bush, and the majority of the people in my town. For me, I'll always remember the day Teddie died, like so many remember what they were doing when his brothers were killed.
In spite of the many personal trials and scandals that defined his life, Ted Kennedy brought hope to the common man. I hope when the news surrounding his death has died down, all of those who remain in Washington will try to live up to the example that the Senator set. In spite of our differences we can work together if we put the good of the nation ahead of our own ambitions. Service is it's own reward, and now that Ted Kennedy is gone, I only hope that his vision will continue to define the American Dream.