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August 26th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

Ted Kennedy's death a loss for mankind

Bill Frist
Special to CNN

The telephone rang in the deep hours of a dark night after a heavy day for our family.

My mother, affectionately known as Dodie, had passed away just a few hours after my father had passed, the two dying of independent causes.

The call - the first that my wife, Karyn, and I had received from any of our friends or Senate colleagues - was from Ted and Vicki Kennedy. That is caring and that is love.

Imagine being in Nantucket with your non-sailing sons with Ted, the master of the sea, skippering his beloved wooden sailboat over from Hyannis, asking the boys to jump aboard so he could take them on a harbor cruise and tell them a bit about why his brother John so dearly loved the United States of America.

He focused time and energy on the young and the importance their lives will play in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.

You see, in our lives Ted Kennedy was more than the legislative lion of the Senate.

Keep reading...


Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. BigEdsBlog

    The Lion…Err Dog of the Senate.
    “Teddy Kennedy was the weak kitten in the litter, never able to measure up to his brothers.
    The accident at Chappaquiddick displayed his chronic immaturity. One problem Teddy has always had was keeping it in his pants – even when other people are around.”
    – Cleo O’Donnell – wife of former Kennedy campaign aide.
    Check out my take, and stick around for more good content.
    http://libertarianhumor.com/2009/08/26/the-lion-err-dog-of-the-senate/

    August 27, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  2. truthislove45

    Ofcourse Obama would call such a sinful liberal man "the greatist" as Obama has NO discernment between good and evil! Obama has already FAILED! The moment he claimed to be a Christian he showed otherwise by his works. He clothes himself in a robe of religion in order to "try" and hide how EVIL he really is. The devil comes to kill (murder aka abortion) steal (robbing future generations/exploiting peoples fears) and destroy (Obama could care less about peoples liberties seeks to destroy them/freedom of speech/hate crime bills condoning wickedness) Obama clearly listens to his father the Devil and carries out his works. Could Obama be the antichrist-he is loved worldwide/he is crafty and causes it to prosper/he is fierce in his deceptions and godless agendas/he is redistributing wealth/ he honors those who break Gods laws. Indeed per Gods word he has failed what it means to be Christian and God fearing. Such a man will not treat Gods creation with wisdom. Jesus is the way of true change/ Obama is the way of short change!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:30 am |
  3. nea

    People need to be careful how they judge others because the same way you judge someone that judgement will come right back to you. Let GOD be the judge what he did in the past is the past.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:06 am |
  4. Roberta

    This morning when I heard the news–I cried. Born in 1960, Edward Kennedy is woven into the fabric that is the background of my life. He has always been there; fighting for causes that have changed the world we all live in. He championed equal rights for women so I could come to expect respect and equal pay for doing the same job as a man. His dedication to ensuring that everyone in this Country had access to healthcare can never be rivaled. I wish he could be here to help us see it through to the end. We must carry on.

    My heart goes out to his family; but I know that tonight the Kennedy brothers are reunited and Edward stands alone no longer. God Bless Teddy!

    August 26, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  5. Margaret Stackwood

    "Heaven Holds The Faithful Departed"
    God bless you and keep you Ted Kennedy.

    August 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  6. Lillie

    My prayers go out to the Kennedys

    August 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  7. Larryboy

    Dang... When is Ted up for sainthood? And I do mean up – from hell. Will the "god Obama" declare a national holiday be celebrated on July 18th each year?

    August 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  8. Wanda

    It is a sad day because of the loss of Senator Kennedy.

    August 26, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  9. lynne splinter

    I only wish Ted Kennedy could have lived to see a national health care system that works. We can only hope that his passing will bring our government representatives together to vote in favor of a long overdue health care system that works for our country and all its peopele.

    Ted Kennedy was a ablessing to our country and he will be sorely missed.

    August 26, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Claudia

    Senator Kennedy has proven that while we are all flawed we can make the choice to spend our lives trying to make that right ....god bless TEDDY

    August 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  11. Mari

    @ Julie....... can you give the hate a break? IF you are a Christian, and believe in redemption and forgiveness, then I am sure you will agree that Ted Kennedy has been forgiven his sins. After all Jesus dies for us all.
    Since Sen. Kennedy was a Catholic, I am certain he confessed his sins, and was ....... forgiven.

    Sen. Kennedy gave over 40 years of his life in the service of our nation. He spoke for the poor, destitute, disabled, sick, elderly, the children. He fought for the underdogs.

    May you rest in peace Sen. Kennedy. God bless Vicki & the rest of the family with peace and comfort.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm |
  12. BHO - fan

    @ Roy & Julie,

    What in GOD's name is WRONG with you two? WE ALL SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY. There is SOMETHING in ALL our lives that we wish we could take back. BUT, WE CAN'T. That's why I'm glad GOD IS NOT LIKE MAN. HE'S NOT HATEFUL OR RESENTFUL but, ever so FORGIVING. And I THANK HIM FOR THAT. No one is PERFECT. If we were than we wouldn't need HIM ( god ).

    I hope both of you go get in a prayer closet and asked GOD to remove the HATE that's in your HEARTS.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  13. Larry

    His offer to resign following Chappaquiddick was, at best, a mockery of a publicity stunt familiar to the Kennedys; he should have just resigned and the Senate should have demanded his resignation. Would such an incident be tolerated today?

    August 26, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Annie Kate

    I would have never imagined Bill Frist working with Ted Kennedy on anything with Frist such a Republican. This tribute to Ted from Frist shows the lengths and depths Ted would go to in working out things in the Senate and building alliances. His loss is a loss for all – anytime you use someone who is so dedicated to public service it is a loss for all – losing someone of Ted's stature is an even greater loss.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Charles, Connecticut

    For those willing to put aside their paritsanship this may be the most insightful tribute to Ted Kennedy posted all day. Both Kennedy and Frist had strongly-held, and fundamentally different, visions for the financing and delivery of health care in the United States. There will be those who invoke Kennedy's legacy in support of a dramatic reform, but his true legacy, as Frist points out, was the ability to find common ground on the key goals that make a difference in people's lives: reducing disparities, advancing research, improving health. Both Kennedy and Frist understood what so many are failing to grasp in the current debate, that true democracy lies in the art of reaching practical consensus solutions from different ideologies.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  16. RoseProphecy

    Yes!Senator Kennedy is an angel who will forever live with us and remind us how humanity did exist in the congress and among the democrat liberals of America and from a chosen family to crusify her best to remind the world that ideas and ideas will never die and even though the body man die in vein the spirits always always remain! We will pass the HealthCare Senator with flying colors due to your effortless and forever compassion toward the people and their health and power in the world!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  17. Julie

    Really? Ted Kennedy's death is a loss for mankind? Is that a joke? He killed a 27 year old woman, he will be welcomed by the devil.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  18. Linda O

    An Irish prayer for a man who has done much in Senate for our country: “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.May the sun shine warm upon your face.May the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.”~ RIP Sen. Ted Kennedy …an end of an era!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Larry

    It makes you wonder how things may have turned out had Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. survived and entered the world of politics that Joe Sr. had planned for him. But then again, how often does the media ever make any reference to Ted Kennedy's eldest brother.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Roy

    check out how Prescott Bush was saved from going to prison by OSS as it was called before Dulles brothers renamed it to CIA read your history and piece it together The Bush Family have been jealous of Kennedys since the days of Fitzgearld vs Walker politics

    August 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  21. WmSF

    Senator Kennedy will be missed. As a way to carry-on his fight for health care, maybe someone ought to (tastefully) crunch the numbers for his medical expenses this past year, and project how the rest of the nation would fare. Everyone should get the very best, without provizo. Let Teddy’s care set the standard!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  22. Roy

    perfect way to frame someone in a conspiricey, I wonder what CIA set up to make Kennedy back out the flight that they knew was going down. Then they can later use the false conecttion against him politically. CIA has been working for the Bush Family since thier begining in 1947. check out 1953 CIA coup of Iran

    August 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  23. Lara

    I woke up at 2:30am and saw the profoundly sad news on TV. I cried. This was a great Man and he will be missed & never be forgotten. He touched so many lives through public service and on a personal level. Senator Ted Kennedy truly cared about people. I pray for his family, that they will find comfort in God. He was the one they leaned on through all the tragedies that has occured in the family. May his Soul rest in peace.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  24. Shelley

    Senator Ted Kennedy was a good person, a kind person, and above all else a passionate human being. He knew how to show others all that there was to offer of himself whether on the senate floor or on his wooden sailboat. Sail on Ted, and maybe soon a rousing game of football will be played as Joe and Rose look on...now that is heaven.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  25. Julie

    Mr. Adopts Cats to Practice Surgical Skills eulogizes Mr. Leaves Girlfriend to Drown in Overturned Vehicle.

    Nice. Maybe now we'll finally get the truth as to why Ted backed out at the last minute, deciding not to take the plane that went down in northern Minnesota, killing Senator Paul Wellstone.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  26. Roy

    Ted Kennedy survived two CIA attempts on his life

    August 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm |