We will never forget our history. We also can be assured the story has not concluded.
The last time we gathered for a Democratic convention the lion of the senate, Teddy Kennedy, was still among us, and presented a fiery speech for candidate Barrack Obama. The memories of the times a Kennedy made history at a convention are numerous, and will be recalled this week as a new chapter is made in American politics.
The last Democratic National Convention that gathered without a Kennedy in Congress was held in Chicago in 1944, only six weeks after the D-day invasion, at a time when typewriters, telephones, and teletypes were the gold standard of communication.
Nearly seven decades later, the two-dozen family members who gather in Charlotte, N.C., will find themselves in that unfamiliar position again, without a standard-bearer of national clout since the 2009 death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Although some delegates might consign the family to a place of sentimental nostalgia, far removed from the Web-wired world of today’s politics, the Kennedys plan to be a presence at Charlotte. Political discussion will be fostered there through family-related forums, and Joseph P. Kennedy III, a candidate to succeed US Representative Barney Frank in Congress, will introduce a video tribute to the late senator.
For family loyalists, the absence of a Kennedy on Capitol Hill is not an ending but rather a short break before a new beginning.
“It won’t be long before there’s another Kennedy in Congress,” predicted Philip Johnston, 68, former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, in a reference to the younger Kennedy’s bid for the Fourth Congressional District seat. “There’s a generational passing of the torch that’s going on.”