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Cross posted on The Daily Hurricane:

By design or circumstance, the final moments of the Era of the Kennedy Brothers ended privately, out of the public view, as the evening light faded over Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.  As it got darker, vague images of the honor guard, the bugler, the Custis-Lee Mansion were all we could see.  In the darkness, Teddy's grandchildren spoke of their private moments with their grandfather and Splash on the porch of the Kennedy house at Hyannis Port.  The television commentators were silent;  all you could hear on the broadcast was the sound of people moving about the graveside in the final moments of a long journey that began on Cape Cod, stopped in Boston, and ended in Washington.  For her remarks, Teddy's wife, Vicki, refused the microphone.  No one beyond the family heard those final words.

Cross posted on The Daily Hurricane:

By design or circumstance, the final moments of the Era of the Kennedy Brothers ended privately, out of the public view, as the evening light faded over Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.  As it got darker, vague images of the honor guard, the bugler, the Custis-Lee Mansion were all we could see.  In the darkness, Teddy's grandchildren spoke of their private moments with their grandfather and Splash on the porch of the Kennedy house at Hyannis Port.  The television commentators were silent;  all you could hear on the broadcast was the sound of people moving about the graveside in the final moments of a long journey that began on Cape Cod, stopped in Boston, and ended in Washington.  For her remarks, Teddy's wife, Vicki, refused the microphone.  No one beyond the family heard those final words.

As the television picture faded, I found myself leaning forward in my seat.  In the end, I ended up standing just a few feet from the screen squinting to see the goings-on.  After some frustration at the poor images, listening to the priest reading Teddy's farewell letter to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, I gradually came to realize that this is as it should be.  I sat down and just listened.

For a life lived in the blazing spotlight of world society and politics, Teddy was always under intense scrutiny of the press, constantly observed, constantly criticized.  Every move, mistake, and word was documented in excruciating detail all through his life.  Now, the eyes of the world were deprived the clear images of HD television and digital sound.  Suddenly, all observers were truly on the outside, looking at grainy images and listening  to background noise.

In the end, I believe these last few moments of privacy for him and his family in the dark were somehow appropriate.  Either a staffer or family member is a really good time planner and this was intentional,  or someone above us is still looking after Teddy.  I believe it is the latter.

It ended as it should, with just the Kennedy family saying goodbye to Uncle Teddy.  I'm glad they got that one moment of privacy.

Originally posted to The Daily Hurricane on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 07:17 PM PDT.

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