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Remembering Ted Kennedy

Associated Press | 8/31/2009, 5:29 a.m.
Irish President Mary McAleese

"America has lost a great and respected statesman and Ireland has lost a long—standing and true friend." — Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen

"The senator dedicated his life to serving others, the state and the country he loved. We will live into his legacy every day by carrying with us his boundless energy and eternal optimism. ... We will continue to persevere to bring access to health coverage that will allow all of us to live the fullest, healthiest lives possible. We believe it is [the] right thing to do, and the senator believed that, too." — Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director, Health Care For All

"Ted Kennedy would have been a leader, an outstanding senator, at any period in the nation’s history." — Sen. Robert Byrd, D-Va.

"He was the survivor ... He was not a shining star that burned brightly and faded away. He had a long, steady glow. When you survey the impact of the Kennedys on American life and politics and policy, he will end up by far being the most significant." — Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute

"Senator Kennedy was a towering inspiration to all of us fighting for the rights and dignities of immigrants and refugees, and to all those who yearn for the warmth of liberty's torch. ... Senator Kennedy's presence in Massachusetts was as rich as it was long, and he will live in history as a testimony to America's greatest ideals." — Statement from the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

"A motivating and dynamic presence in the U.S. Senate and around the globe, [Kennedy] fostered civilized debate in the Senate, promoted diversity in federal appointments and instilled hope in federal courts across this nation by his nomination of African Americans. He truly believed in equal justice for all Americans. ... A true man of the people and family man, he will be sorely missed." — Joyce London Alexander Ford, first African American female United States Magistrate Judge

"The world knows Ted Kennedy as an American patriot, the patriarch of one our country’s premier political dynasties, the most prodigious legislator in the history of the United States Senate, and one of the most dominant political figures of any era. ... But I will also remember his endearing personal gestures — from the call I received from him upon the inauguration of Barack Obama as president to his incessant teasing about me missing a flight because of my overly long introduction of him at my church many years ago." — Charles Stith, president of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University and former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania

"For so many of us in the Commonwealth and throughout this country, our cares were his concern. From civil rights to health care, he used all his passion and clout to open doors for the common man and common woman. He advocated, he demonstrated, he negotiated and he inspired. His voice will forever echo in our minds and hearts." — Boston City Councilor-at-Large Sam Yoon