Ted Kennedy's Malignant Tumor: Sad News, But "The Work Goes On"

05/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ted Kennedy has been
diagnosed with a Malignant Brain Tumor. Although the news is tragic, we
can turn to Kennedy's own words for inspiration and solace. In 1980, in
his concession speech to Carter, Kennedy said: "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." So the best way, perhaps, to honor Senator
Kennedy, is support the valiant work he has done for over 40 years, and
continues to do today. Here are some more inspiring words from Senator
Kennedy, followed by ways you can take action to ensure that the cause
endures, the hope still lives, and the dream never dies.

1. But we do not win the war on terror by stooping to their level. We do not win by
desecrating the very ideals that our soldiers are fighting for. We win
by setting an example -- by doing unto others as we would have them do
unto us.

2. "Some in Congress want to turn
America away from its true spirit ... They believe immigrants are
criminals. That's false. They believe any of us who help immigrants --
even our priests - are criminals, too. That's false ... More than four
decades ago, near this place, Martin Luther King called on the nation to
let freedom ring. Freedom did ring -- and freedom can ring again. It is
time for Americans to lift their voices now-in pride for our immigrant
past and in pride for our immigrant future."

3. " It is the glory and the greatness of our tradition to speak for
those who have no voice, to remember those who are forgotten, to respond
to the frustrations and fulfill the aspirations of all Americans seeking
a better life in a better land.We dare not forsake that tradition. We
cannot let the great purposes of the Democratic Party become the bygone
passages of history ... We are the party of the New Freedom, the New Deal
and the New Frontier. We have always been the party of hope. So this
year let us offer new hope, new hope to an America uncertain about the
present, but unsurpassed in its potential for the future.To all those
who are idle in the cities and industries of America let us provide new
hope for the dignity of useful work. Democrats have always believed that
a basic civil right of all Americans is their right to earn their own
way ... To all those who work hard for a living wage let us provide new
hope that their price of their employment shall not be an unsafe
workplace and a death at an earlier age."

4. " The answers of one generation become the questions of the next
generation. But there is a guiding star in the American firmament. It is
as old as the revolutionary belief that all people are created equal,
and as clear as the contemporary condition of Liberty City and the South
Bronx. Again and again Democratic leaders have followed that star and
they have given new meaning to the old values of liberty and justice for

5. " To all those who inhabit our land from California to the New York
Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters, let us provide
new hope that prosperity shall not be purchased by poisoning the air,
the rivers and the natural resources that are the greatest gift of this
continent.We must insist that our children and our grandchildren shall
inherit a land which they can truly call America the beautiful."

6. "The President, the Vice President, the members of Congress have a
medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and
representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them
immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do
not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last
time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the Federal Government?
I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for
the President, the Vice President and the Congress of the United States,
then it is good enough for you and every family in America."

7. "And to all those overburdened by an unfair tax structure, let us
provide new hope for real tax reform. Instead of shutting down
classrooms, let us shut off tax shelters.Instead of cutting out school
lunches, let us cut off tax subsidies for expensive business lunches
that are nothing more than food stamps for the rich."

8. "Women hold their rightful place at our convention, and women must
have their rightful place in the Constitution of the United States. On
this issue we will not yield, we will not equivocate, we will not
rationalize, explain or excuse. We will stand for E.R.A. and for the
recognition at long last that our nation was made up of founding mothers
as well as founding fathers."

9. "There are few issues more basic to our faith than how we treat
others -- not just our friends and countrymen, but those from other
countries and traditions. Leviticus teaches us that, "The alien living
with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as
yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt." And we remember the words of
Christ from St. Matthew's Gospel that we are not only to feed the hungry
and care for the sick, but to welcome the stranger. And Thomas Merton
took that further when he reminded us that we are wiser as people when
we not only welcome -- but we listen -- to the voice of the stranger. That
is our tradition. That is our faith. That is our calling. Especially in
these difficult times with the high emotion and political fervor that
surround the issue."

10. "I'm proud that Massachusetts continues to be a leader on marriage
equality. Being part of a family is a basic right, and I look forward to
the day when every state accepts this basic principle of fairness.
Marriage is a solemn commitment to plan a future together, to share in
life's celebrations, to be there as a source of comfort and support to
ease life's burdens and pains. This week's debate in the Senate affects
real families with real-life struggles. When the citizens of a state
have decided to recognize those families-through their state
constitution or state laws-the Senate has no business undermining their
personal, private decisions.It's wrong to try to turn back the clock on
the progress we've made in guaranteeing civil rights for all our
people.... That progress has been achieved at great cost and sacrifice,
and we must not retreat. The Constitution has never been amended to
discriminate any American, and now is no time to start."

Inspired? Then help pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act! Learn how you can
take action at