DNCC - One Nation: Senator Kennedy's Decades of Service to Party and Country to be Honored

Senator Kennedy’s Decades of Service to Party and Country to be Honored; Caroline Kennedy to Speak, Introduce Video Tribute Directed by Ken Burns and Mark Herzog

DENVER – The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the Obama for America campaign today announced additional details surrounding Monday evening’s tribute to honor Senator Edward M. Kennedy. His niece, Caroline Kennedy, will speak to his extraordinary work over the last 46 years on behalf of this country, as well as his future plans in the United States Senate.  A video tribute, directed by documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Mark Herzog, will also portray his love of country, family, politics and the sea.

The opening night of the Convention, themed as “One Nation”, will highlight Barack Obama’s life story, his commitment to change, and the voices of Americans, including Senator Kennedy’s, calling for a new direction for this country.

Senator Kennedy’s story is told through a combination of original interviews, archival footage and still photographs that chronicle his enormous contributions to this country and his deep dedication to his work on behalf of the American people.  The film also describes his hopes for the future including what Barack Obama will do as President to change the course of this country.

The video features Senator and Mrs. Kennedy as well as conversations with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Georgia Congressman John Lewis.  It also incorporates interviews with individuals who have worked closely with Senator Kennedy and whose lives he has touched, including:

  • Brian Hart of Bedford, Massachusetts, who speaks of losing his son in Iraq in an attack on his unarmored humvee.  Senator Kennedy and the Hart family have worked together to ensure that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan now have enough properly armored vehicles and body armor.
  • Sixteen-year-old Lauren Stanford of Plymouth, Massachusetts, who suffers from juvenile diabetes.  Senator Kennedy asked Lauren to testify in support of stem cell research before his health committee.  Senator Kennedy and Ms. Stanford have continued to advocate for increased investments in medical research.
  • Jasmine Harrison who met Senator Kennedy when he read to her each week for five years, beginning when Jasmine was in the second grade, at a public school in Washington, DC as part of the “Everybody Wins!” program.  He continued to encourage her over the years and she enters college this fall with plans to major in education. 
  • Alan Khazei, Co-Founder of City Year, who speaks of Senator Kennedy’s work to create Americorps and commitment to inspiring all Americans to give back to their communities.

The video, produced by Burns and Herzog along with their colleagues Sarah Botstein and Christopher G. Cowen, will run approximately eight minutes.