As I watched the News Hour with Jim Leherer this evening, the lead story was of Sen. Kennedy's passing. Among the comments of average people was the story of the young girl who he mentored in a reading program, one on one. Apparently, this was something he did regularly with this child, building a relationship to encourage education. When he became ill he wrote to her that he wouldn't be able to continue and sent along an autographed book with a personal message to hopefully inspire her to continue to enjoy reading. I believe he also secured his replacement. She is still too young to fully appreciate the Senators' involvement in establishing the literacy program, but one day she is likely to understand.
There doesn't seend to be that there was ever an occasion for hoopla, or political breast pounding as far as I can see. I think this example tells a lot about a person. To me, he is a man who had redeemed himself. And his legislative oeuvre earned him the love and respect of millions of Americans and Internationals.