WORCESTER -- The late Edward M. Kennedy, a champion of liberal causes who represented Massachusetts in the US Senate for 47 years, was remembered fondly today in a ceremony at the state Democratic convention.
"The simple truth is this: His greatness was that he fought for the people and the principles of Massachusetts. And in that half-century where he never grew tired and he never gave in, he became one of those few, one of those rare and happy few, who bend the course of history itself," said Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the liberal icon.
The tribute to Kennedy came towards the end of the convention, which had earlier nominated Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray for reelection.
Kennedy "kept his eye on the horizon because he saw a better vision for a better, more hopeful, more just America, and he kept working for that," said Patrick. "And let us take that into our own lives as a living tribute to Ted Kennedy."
"It still hurts. I still miss him so much," said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. "Do you remember his voice, do you remember his enthusiasm, do you remember his infectious laughter, and love for working people?"
"When the final hand of history writes of the first 250 years of this republic, it will record that no individual legislator, from any state, of any political party, of either house of Congress, worked harder or longer with greater resolve or with greater success for the causes of peace and economic and social justice" said Paul Kirk, a friend of Kennedy's, who was appointed to act as interim senator after Kennedy's death last summer.
The celebration also included remarks by US Senator John F. Kerry and a video chronicling the life of the liberal lion of the Senate that was played on the arena's Jumbotron.
"What a lady!" Marilyn LaRosa said as Victoria Reggie Kennedy took the stage. LaRosa and her friend Carol White, a fellow delegate from West Roxbury, were among the delegates looking forward to the tribute to the late senator as a highlight of today's convention.
"She's remarkable. She's a very classy lady," said White. "Great speech, lovely. She's very polished. And I like that southern drawl."
"She's so graceful. She's so personable. I was very glad when she came into his life," said LaRosa.
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