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The Kopechne Situation

On Facebook someone linked up an article by Henry Rollins entitled “Where is MaryJo Kopechne’s eulogy?”

I didn’t read it; I know what it says. The title alone made me feel violated. I hope none of the Kennedys see it.

Why? After all, I myself wrote about the Kennedy family’s inhuman treatment of Rosemary, the alleged mentally disabled daughter, when Eunice Shriver Kennedy died. Is there a difference?

I think there is. Hardly anyone knew about Rosemary; everyone knows about Ms. Kopechne. Ted Kennedy made a terrible mistake that night–but he paid plenty for it, publicly in what it did to his career and his image, and privately with a heavy conscience. I suspect there’s a lot more we don’t know about the repercussions of that night.

Kennedy more than repented for his mistake during the course of his lifetime with all the good he did for people, for society. How many people do as much good in their lifetimes as Kennedy did in his? Who among us directly affects so many people?

Raising the issue of the worst mistake of someone’s life when they’re not yet cold in the ground is the basest of human instincts. It’s cruel, it’s nasty, it’s judgemental and misguided. Who among us would want our worst mistake talked about the day after our burial? People do live in glass houses, and they shouldn’t throw stones.

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One response »

  1. Take a course in logic and then reread your statement. In America you can have your cake and eat it too if you have money. If you don’t you do the time.

    I don’t get what’s illogical about my opinion, but…I expected comments like yours, and much more confrontational. I’m fully aware of how people view this situation.

    Ted Kennedy left an autobiography he was working on, and some of it’s been “leaked.” One thing he said was “Atonement takes a lifetime.” So you know he spent his life atoning for what he did that night. We don’t even know everything he did to atone. I might be the only one who feels this way, but none the less I’m glad he didn’t spend his life in prison, but in Congress, fighting the good fight.–MS

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