Eunice Kennedy Shriver has always been a part of History.
Born to one of America's patrician families (some say America's only true "royal" family), she was sister to President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy and current Senator for the state of Massachusetts Edward Moore (Teddy) Kennedy; daughter of powerful businessman, political figure and Ambassador to the United KIngdom Joseph Kennedy; mother to Maria Shriver Kennedy, prominent journalist and First Lady of California, and mother-in-law of California's currently serving Republican Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger.
It was her love and devotion to her mentally challenged sister Rosemarie Kennedy the factor that compelled Eunice to found in 1968 the Special Olympics. This event forever changed the perception of the Nation and the world on those with physical and mental disabilities. It empowered and advanced the cause of this until then hidden and forgotten sector of the American population. It also indirectly and inevitably carved a place of her own for Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the History of great achievements for social justice and equality in the United States.
I leave to those who really knew her the task of eulogizing her and listing her many other personal qualities and intellectual and social passions. I just wanted to honor this remarkable woman with my modest tribute to her monumental accomplishment as a humanitarian and as a promoter of positive social change.
Los Angeles, August 11, 2009