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Ticket Replay: Eunice Kennedy Shriver's political impact: 'You taught us to stand tall"

January 2, 2010 |  5:54 pm

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics

As the holidays unfold, The Ticket's thoughts turn to a little undeserved time off. So we're re-publishing some of our favorite or most-read items from 2009. This item originally appeared on Aug. 14.

Arguably, she had more impact on public life than any of her famous brothers -- President Kennedy, assassinated in his prime, as was his brother, New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; or even Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, ailing now, battling brain cancer, the Lion of the Senate, unable to attend today's funeral mass.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics that gave mentally and physically challenged Americans a place to compete and find glory, will be buried today after a Mass at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Hyannis, Mass. For years this was the family summer parish, the church where her daughter, Maria Shriver, married Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1986.

Today's service is not open to the public, but yesterday's wake was. And what an outpouring of public appreciation.

In just one example, a group of adults from Cape Abilities, an organization that helps people with disabilities, clutched bunches of flowers as they waited in a line that snaked down to the parking lot. One of them, Mike Rhodes, held a card they had all signed. “You taught us to stand tall,” said the 25-year-old Rhodes as he read the card. “She did. She [stood] tall for all of us and loved us."

-- Johanna Neuman

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