Friday, September 17, 2004

The Ambassador Hotel

A friend of mine asked me to comment on the tearing down of the Ambassador Hotel...I was stunned. Having not heard any such news, I immediately checked in to it. As it turns out the Ambassador Hotel, the sight of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, is not being completely tore down, but partly demolished to accommodate a school for the lower-income downtown Los Angeles school district.

Now, people have been talking, they think that the Ambassador should remain intact and it should in some way be considered a historical landmark. What greater landmark or memorial could there be to Bobby Kennedy than a school for the disadvantaged? Personally I don't consider places of death to be historically significant--we don't need a memorial for every place when someone is assassinated, but if people feel we need to have that memorial to RFK, let them build a school.

Bobby Kennedy was an advocate of education. Having 11 children of his own he saw the importance of public schools and actively played a part in the funding of lower-income schools as attorney general. Of all memorials, the greatest would be a school--but even more importantly the history of the Ambassador Hotel would no longer be negatively remembered as the place where Robert Kennedy was assassinated, but would positively be remembered as a place where his greatest work resides.

Rarely do I go into my Kennedy sentiment. Occasionally I voice my frustration with Ted Kennedy and comment on the outrageous amount of time I spend on Kennedy research, but hardly ever do I mention my personal feelings about the Kennedy family. I'm quite convinced that had John Kennedy lived, Vietnam would have been much different and had Bobby lived he would have become one of the greatest president's of the United States, right up there with Truman. Of the four Kennedy brothers, Joe was the potential, Jack was the class and grace, Teddy is the corrupt politician, but it was Bobby who was the brains, the ambition, the hope for an entire generation.

The plan for the Ambassador will be approved in the coming months by the school district and we will soon know its fate, but let me say just this---- If the Ambassador Hotel will forever be known for Bobby Kennedy, let it represent his life's work rather than his death.

No comments :