Jim Booth at Scholars and Rogues wrote about what the death of Bobby Kennedy meant to a 16-year old kid out to save the world from darkest North Carolina.
This is just the 39th anniversary of RFK’s death. Next year, 2008, will be the 40th, and will again feature an election in which the war-crippled lame duck president must be succeeded, and the early fields in both parties do not excite the incumbent party’s masses much.
But 1968 was a uniquely terrible year — we hope it was unique. One serious question is just how depressing will it be to hear the “40-years out” stories on the Pueblo crisis, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, the riots, RFK’s death, the convention riots, the money-and-morale-and-morality sapping war (Vietnam, not Iraq — we hope), etc., etc.
And so Mr. Booth’s close is a potent challenge: To rededicate ourselves to the hopes we felt in the first half of 1968, to see the implementation of those hopes now, two generations later — despite the cynicism that wells up whenever we see anyone touted as a great hope of needed change in the country’s direction, or whenever great hopes are dashed to pieces, as they have been in Iraq.
And every June 5th I stop for a few moments and remember how I believed in what America could be once – try to get some of that belief back – and, to use an old Boomer chestnut, “keep on keeping on.”
And I ask Bobby to forgive me – and my generation – for failing to pick up his torch….