Dream Shall Never Die

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August 26, 2009
From the Desk of the Executive Director, MS Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities

We– the nation, the world — regardless of your party affiliation- lost a true leader, a good, gentle giant last night.

Ted Kennedy was the finest, the most accomplished, legislator in our lifetime. He grew up in a family of wealth and privilege, but he championed the causes of ordinary Americans, earning him the title “Lion of the Senate.”

Through his public service, he enriched the lives of countless people — people who needed a passionate and compassionate voice in the seat of power.

His strong, emphatic voice was often the clarion call that made possible historic advances in civil rights, equal education opportunities with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the removal of barriers for people with disabilities with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the family medical leave, judicial justice, workers’ and retirees’ rights, and, of course, it has led us to the cusp of decent, affordable health care for everyone.

It is impossible to be a part of the fight for rights for individuals with disabilities and their families without honoring Senator Edward Kennedy. He showed us all what true compassion, a strong vision, and real dedication to humanity can do. Here at Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, we lost a life-long champion for individuals of all ages with disabilities.

May his example shine in our hearts and our work so that we re-dedicate ourselves to the mission – his fight — our fight — for real, meaningful inclusion for all and for real health care reform.

It is up to us to continue the fight by advocating for all to have access to the American Dream and to finish what he has left for us to protect and complete!

Senator Kennedy, Thank you for raising your voice and opening doors for America’s most vulnerable citizens. For all those whose cares have been your concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.