"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the dream shall never die."
Ted Kennedy is a contemporary Visionmaker. I use the verb "is" because it is in keeping with his famous declaration quoted above. He endures. It also speaks to the endurance of his legacy of service to Americans and anyone else interested in compassionate governance, no matter where they live.
I waited a few days after Ted Kennedy's passing to reflect on what I wanted to say to our community of Visionmakers about this heroic, flawed man. In many ways, Teddy was both the light and the dark of the visionary leader.
He was the author of 2,500 bills, of which several hundred were passed into law. He was a champion of health care reform; a pioneer in supporting HIV/AIDS treatment and care; an advocate for the the care of the elderly, women and children; a champion of biomedical research; an advocate for tobacco legislative reform; a consumer protectionist for enhanced food and drug safety; a leader in mental health care; a minority health champion; an advocate for civil rights and voting rights in the United States; and a sponsor of fair immigration policies and citizenship for immigrants and refugees.
He also battled his personal demons, often publicly. To this, one can say that despite the lapses and setbacks, Teddy pursued the dream and legacy of the Kennedy family publicly and privately. He served despite personal tragedy and misadventure.
Ted Kennedy was a man who walked in many worlds. His journey in this world has ended but his spirit of service survives.