U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (also known as RFK) was shot by Sirhan Sirhan 43 years ago. He Died the next day.
The younger brother to President John F. Kennedy, he was a known as a civil rights activist and served as the Attorney General from 1961 to 1964.
In 1968, Kennedy began to campaign for the presidency and was the front-running candidate of the Democratic Party.
President John F. Kennedy once remarked about his brother that, "If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed."
Kennedy scored a major victory in winning the California primary. He addressed his supporters shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in a ballroom at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Leaving the ballroom, he went through the hotel kitchen after being told it was a shortcut, despite being advised to avoid the kitchen by his bodyguard, FBI agent Bill Barry. In a crowded kitchen passageway, 24-year-old Sirhan Sirhan opened fire with a .22-caliber revolver. Kennedy was hit three times and five other people also were wounded. George Plimpton and former decathlete Rafer Johnson are credited with wrestling Sirhan Sirhan to the ground after Sirhan shot the Senator. Following the shooting, Kennedy was first rushed to Los Angeles's Central Receiving Hospital and then to the city's Good Samaritan Hospital where he died early the next morning. Sirhan said that he felt betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination.
His brother, U.S. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, eulogized him with the words,
"My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'"
Kennedy was buried near his brother, John, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. He had always maintained that he wished to be buried in Massachusetts, but his family believed that since the brothers had been so close in life, they should be near each other in death. In accordance with his wishes, Kennedy was buried with the bare-minimum military escort and ceremony. The casket was borne from the train by 13 pallbearers, including former astronaut John Glenn, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, family friend Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Robert's eldest son Joe and his brother Senator Edward Kennedy.
In August 2009, Senator Edward Kennedy was also buried at Arlington, near his brothers John and Robert.
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." ~ Robert F. Kennedy
Dan Emplit WBFD