Friday, August 28, 2009

The Lion Sleeps Tonight...

A Humanitarian, Leader on Immigrant Issues, Gold Star Brother, and Friend
Has Left Our World
Melida Arrendondo
Boston, MA - Carlos and I are pained to know of the passing of Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009).

Senator Ted Kennedy went out of his way to meet our family on several different occasions. In October of 2006, he honored our family by reading from a letter our son the late Lcpl. Alexander Arredondo wrote at a Memorial Concert and Tribute to Today's War Heroes held in Worcester, MA.

Senator Kennedy was also a man who provided enduring support to our immigrant family. He utilized a change in federal law prioritizing Gold Star family members to receive their citizenship when related to the death of fallen military kin. As a consequence, Carlos Arredondo was sworn in as US citizen on 12/12/2006, the first Gold Star father to receive citizenship as a consequence of a military death.
Senator Kennedy was also a donor to the Lcpl. Alexander Scott Arredondo memorial scholarship set up at the Blue Hills Regional Technical High School in Canton, MA where Alex had graduated (refer to attached letter).

A Gold Star brother due to the loss of Joe Kennedy, we witnessed how Senator Kennedy dedicated time to meet families of the fallen who had died as a result of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. His compassion and concern were genuine and true.

In addition, Senator Kennedy was instrumental in legislation that created community health centers, the American for Disabilities Act and the Women, Infants and Childrens (WIC) Program - each of these pieces of legislation having impacted Melida Arredondo's life. She continues to work for a health center, oversees a WIC program and has had a physical disability since birth.

Finally, only God can provide meaning as to why Ted Kennedy, the Lion Senator from Massachusetts, died on 08/25/09. This same date is the 5th year anniversary of the death our son Alexander as well as Carlos' birthdate. As a family, we can only conclude that Senator Kennedy had a strong connection to us and to so many. Therefore, God has willed for that connection to remain throughout our lives so that we always remember the dear Senator from Massachusetts.

The Arredondo family sends their deepest condolences to Mrs. Kennedy, Jeanne Kennedy and all of Senator Kennedy's children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

For further information, contact:   Melida Arredondo: Day - 617-740-8129, Eve - 617-323-5623