When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the United States was devastated at the news. But no one was prepared for his younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy, to also be assassinated on June 6, 1968. Two days later, on June 8, he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Appropriately, Robert was buried just 30 yards from John’s grave.

His political involvement

It’s not surprising Robert Kennedy became involved in politics, especially after watching John F. Kennedy’s political achievements. After his brother’s assassination in 1963, Kennedy joined President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration but eventually resigned in 1964 to run for New York’s Senate seat. He was vocal about his criticism of the Vietnam War, which gained him some popularity but also hatred. In 1968, Kennedy decided to run for president as a socially progressive Democratic. He began his busy campaign schedule and on June 4, 1968, he won a major victory in the California primary. He seemed to be the shoo-in candidate for the Democratic nomination. Others were sure he would become president, but unfortunately, he didn’t live to the election.

His unexpected assassination

Shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, Kennedy delivered a victory speech in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles for winning the California primary election. While exiting, he was shot three times by Palestinian drifter, Sirhan Sirhan. He was rushed to the hospital, where he fought for his life, but he was eventually pronounced dead on June 6 at 1:44 AM.

A somber funeral

On June 8, thousands of mourners attended a funeral Mass ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Kennedy’s younger brother, Edward M. Kennedy, delivered a eulogy, stating that his brother “should 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.” As Kennedy’s coffin was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Edward Kennedy echoed that his brother lived by a motto: “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’. I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”. We still need to follow that motto.