ServeNext.org Blog

Ted Kennedy endorses Obama, recalls brother’s engagement of a generation through Peace Corps

Posted by aaronjmarquez on January 28, 2008

http://politickernh.com/index.php?q=img_assist/popup/142 

Today, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) joined his neice Caroline in endorsing U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) for President of the United States.  At his announcement at an American University rally, Kennedy hearkened back to his brother’s creation of the Peace Corps, call to service, and engagement of a generation.

Now, with Barack Obama, there is a new national leader who has given America a different kind of campaign-a campaign not just about himself, but about all of us. A campaign about the country we will become, if we can rise above the old politics that parses us into separate groups and puts us at odds with one another.

I remember another such time, in the 1960s, when I came to the Senate at the age of 30. We had a new president who inspired the nation, especially the young, to seek a new frontier. Those inspired young people marched, sat in at lunch counters, protested the war in Vietnam and served honorably in that war even when they opposed it.

They realized that when they asked what they could do for their country, they could change the world.

It was the young who led the first Earth Day and issued a clarion call to protect the environment; the young who enlisted in the cause of civil rights and equality for women; the young who joined the Peace Corps and showed the world the hopeful face of America.

At the fifth anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps, I asked one of those young Americans why they had volunteered.

And I will never forget the answer: “It was the first time someone asked me to do something for my country.”

This is another such time.

Full video of Senator Kennedy’s remarks:

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