It was thrilling to see Teddy Kennedy take the stage at the Democratic Convention last night, diminished by his disease and valiant even in his 11th hour. One could not listen to his speech without thinking of his great speech at the Democratic Convention in 1980, which, for my money, ranks with JFK‘s inaugural and Martin Luther Ling Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech as the best orations of my lifetime (and surely, if it had been a victory speech, it would have ranked above them.) Here is its conclusion: “And someday, long after this convention, long after the signs come down and the crowds stop cheering, and the bands stop playing, may it be said of our campaign that we kept the faith. May it be said of our Party in 1980 that we found our faith again. And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:

“I am a part of all that I have met
To [Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are —
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

Magnificent, eh? As Churchill said, “In defeat, defiance.”

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