May 21, 2008

The Last Good Campaign

Two months after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Robert Kennedy traveled to Asia on an itinerary that had originally been planned for J.F.K. During the trip, he visited a girls’ school in the Philippines where the students sang a song they had composed to honor his brother. As he drove away with CBS cameraman Walter Dombrow, he clenched his hands so tightly that they turned white, and tears rolled down his cheeks. He shook his head, signaling that Dombrow should remain silent. Finally he said in a choked voice, “They would have loved my brother.” Dombrow put his arm around him and said, “Bob, you’re going to have to carry on for him.” Kennedy stared straight ahead for half a minute before turning to Dombrow and nodding. It was then, Dombrow said, that he knew Bobby would run for president and realized how much he loved him.

(Read the rest at Vanity Fair.)

This is a must-read piece especially now that the United States is heading up for its presidential elections in November. When Bobby Kennedy decided to run for president, the U.S. was in the midst of the Vietnam War and racial tensions were heating up. 1968 was a year that most Americans would rather forget because of the horror and tragedies that followed right after Bobby Kennedy made his announcement that he would be running for president, including the fact that he, like his brother JFK, was assassinated.

On another note, I am also curious though, if any of those kids in the girls' school mentioned in that first paragraph of the piece, remember Bobby Kennedy's visit. If you're one of those kids, or know anyone of them (now Moms or even young Lolas I suppose), please let me know.

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