Having watched the various ceremonies attendant to the recent death of Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, many facets of his life, mostly professional and political, but some family and friends oriented, have been shared by many of those who spoke to remember him.
One facet which not many were aware of was his interest in the civil war history, he was a true civil war buff probably before the term became a cliche.
Summer vacations were times to pile all the kids into the car or an RV, and travel to battlefields, places he’d read about in the past, and wanted to personally explore, both for his own sake and as an educational adjunct for his kids. He’d take his place somewhere on the battlefield, Gettysburg was one of them, and then he’d give the kids his lecture on what had happened there, who had participated and how it had earned a signal role in the war. I’m told that one of the friends he sometimes met there was none other than the indefatigable Shelby Foote, whose knowledge and direction added to his understanding of the fields of battle during that mighty conflict.
As summer winds down to an end, but the weather is still good and it’s comfortable to be outside, why don’t you pack your family, kids and the grandkids, into the car and check out a battlefield too. You may not be able to take your kids sailing in a big sailboat or yacht on Nantucket Sound, but you can introduce the kids to the joys of civil war history via a battlefield.
Like us all, Ted Kennedy was far from perfect, but again like many of you, he kept trying for redemption through service to others.
Begin it on a battlefield! You’ll all be better for it, and Teddy will be smiling down.