Saturday, April 5, 2008

RFK's widow and son, Max, mark the 40th anniversary of Bobby's speech in Indy

40 YEARS LATER. I wish I could have been there, but I will appreciate it from Colorado. While the national focus of attention for Friday, April 4, was on Memphis, Tennessee, the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., a lesser-known but no less momentous gathering took place in Indianapolis to mark the 40th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy's speech the evening of King's death.

SOMBER NIGHT. That day, Kennedy was in Indianapolis for a presidential campaign stop when news of King's death broke. Bobby went to the near-north side park where the would-be political rally became a more somber occasion. Tension was in the air and riots of anguish were occurring in other American cities that night. But Bobby Kennedy's brief speech, in which he recalled King's way of nonviolence and the assassination of his brother, John, turned away wrath (read it in an earlier post this week). There were no riots in Indy that night.

STRIKING SCULPTURE. Ethel Kennedy, Bobby's widow, and son, Max, participated in the Kennedy-King Park event yesterday. The sculpture and memoral are striking. Bobby Kennedy would be shot not too many weeks later in California. I was nine years old in 1968 when all these incredible events took place. Then, I was not very conscious of the power and symbolic nature of what was taking place. Now, I am more tuned in to what took place then and what is occurring in the community, nation and world.

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