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August 4, 2020

Statement from Victoria Reggie Kennedy on the Passing of John Hume

John Hume was a peacemaker. I feel blessed to have known him.

My late husband Senator Edward Kennedy met John after the horrific killings in Derry, Northern Ireland, on Bloody Sunday. He knew that John was both a teacher and a proponent of non-violence, so he asked him to walk through the issues with him. And thus began a lifelong friendship and an unbreakable bond to resolve the “Troubles.”

As Ted later reflected, John Hume was both “eloquent and visionary.” John understood from the beginning that the road to peace in Northern Ireland was a “political process that was going to be built upon different traditions and mutual respect…[not] in unilateral actions by the political parties.”

The path was not easy, but John was right. He won a Nobel Prize for his efforts. And because of his steadfastness, there’s “a bright, brand new day in the town” – and the homeland – he “loved so well.”

We offer our deepest sympathy to John’s family, especially to his beloved wife Pat who was his partner in the truest and most important sense of the word.

Rest in peace, John. May the road rise up to meet you. And may the Lord hold you always in the palm of His hand.

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