The last we saw was Robert Francis Kennedy, he was a 42-year-old presidential candidate half a century ago. The twentieth of a millennium. Yet the light of his memory still shines.
Most of the world's population cannot remember back on June 4, 1968, a day that began for Kennedy with a tragedy prevented only by the culmination of his own murder shortly after midnight.
That agonizing day began while staying with Hollywood director John Frankenheimer at a beach house in Malibu. Kennedy, his 12-year-old son David and 3-year-old son Max played on the edge of the surf. David went for a cool swim in the ocean and was trapped and trapped by the torn floor. His father threw himself ashore and dived headlong under the stormy waves to save his son from drowning. Both came out of the ocean, scraped and strewn with the seabed and dash of the Pacific Ocean, but the tragedy was a foregone conclusion.
Fully proficient in makeup, Frankenheimer touched Kennedy's forehead before the candidate appeared later in front of the press and national television cameras.
Kennedy's tiring presidential campaign was in full swing as he watched the results come from mainstream California. This would be a huge win for the New York Senator, and the holiday will be hosted at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. His victory speech was filled with strength, humor and enthusiasm. Chicago's most important Democratic National Convention disappeared, and Kennedy was outraged and urged his followers to go: "Now, it's in Chicago and let's win there."
The overwhelming crowd from the Embassy's hotel room continued to swell as the winning candidate was led down the ramp through the double doors of the kitchen. Fifteen minutes after midnight, a rapid-fire burst between the ice machine and the stainless steel warming tables. Kennedy was hit four times (including grazing) with 22-caliber bullets fired by a 24-year-old Palestinian. Supposedly unhappy with Kennedy's pledge to support Israel following a senator's speech in a Polish synagogue a week earlier, the killer emptied his gun and wounded five others.
Just two months after he spontaneously turned to the startled crowd in Indianapolis, immediately after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy himself would be killed by a lone killer. The 1968 boom had hit the crescent moon while the Vietnam War was raging and bags full of American soldiers continued.
Many historians suggest that this spring of 1968 was the lowest point in the collective psyche of the nation after the Civil War. Civil rights progress has been dramatically impaired by the two killings and the prospect of an eternal war in Indochina seemed certain. The country was falling apart at the seams, it seems, as racial riots and mass marches were ubiquitous.
The Democratic National Convention, which followed Kennedy's assassination 12 weeks later, showed a break in the country more than any other event. Anti-war protesters clashed with Chicago police and National Guardsmen in Grant Park, Michigan Avenue, and around the International Amphitheater in full view of a national television audience.
Kennedy's long funeral funeral train, which transported its coffin from New York to Washington, DC, on June 8, remembers the Abraham Lincoln rail trip more than 100 years ago. Thousands of mourners lined the tracks, wishing to say goodbye to the man who most embodied representation for the poor, premature and impersonal.
Always fond of literature and poetry, Robert Kennedy loved to attribute the words of George Bernard Shaw to his own ideals. Kennedy's many speeches included his vision: "Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream things that have never been, and say why not."
Robert Kennedy's public service has certainly evolved over the years. He began his career in Washington as chief adviser to the Senate Labor Rocket Committee, where he fought the likes of Jimmy Hoffa and other underworld characters. He left the committee to run his brother's presidential campaign when he strengthened his own image as a loyal, ruthless and determined organizer.
Having been appointed Attorney General of the United States, RFK has once again focused its attention on combating organized crime, alleviating the injustice of segregation and tackling widespread poverty in the country. He was a leading catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement and was President Kennedy's most trusted and valuable advisor on internal and global issues.
The advice of Robert Kennedy's sage helped defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, which threatened the whole world with nuclear war.
Kennedy, the father of 11 children, was a man of great patience and compassion. He also identifies those who suffer from poverty or illness or oppression, even though they grew up in a family of excess wealth. He took to the streets of Mississippi to see closely impoverished people who had no political voice. Bobby taught people the grief firsthand, whether in the poorer parts of America or in apartheid South Africa, and he took their suffering to heart.
He stood by the side of civil rights leaders when it came time for the nation to rewrite its policies on segregation and prejudice. He was a major change agent who enabled the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to come to fruition.
Robert Kennedy joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union to give representation and voice to farm and migrant workers as they struggle with low pay, dehumanizing treatment and poor working conditions.
And, of course, he built his political platform around the end of the Vietnam War, which took place nearly five years after his death.
Brother Ted Kennedy at St. Louis Cathedral Patrick admires his murdered brother in an understated word that Robert himself might have chosen.
"My brother should not be idealized or magnified by death beyond what was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and honorable person who saw wrong and tried to correct it; saw suffering and tried to cure it; saw war and trying to stop it. "
Five decades have passed since Robert Francis Kennedy was removed, and unfortunately we have not seen any like him since.