Congressman Pascrell's Statement On The Passing Of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today offered his reflections on the passing of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
America grieves for one of its great sentinels of freedom, justice and the well-being of all citizens, said Pascrell, who supported Kennedy on the campaign trail through Paterson in the 1980 presidential race. Ted Kennedy was a tough Irishman. He kept his word, which is so distinct in the reality-TV era. A significant senator and a significant human being, Ted Kennedy carried the legacy of his family with all of its successes, disappointments, influence and pain. God bless the Kennedy family.
Pascrell said he considered Kennedy as vociferous ally in fighting for the proper diagnosis and treatment of those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury.
Senator Kennedy is remembered for so many incredible accomplishments that his fierce advocacy for brain injury survivors is sometimes overlooked. The senator's victories to advance rights for women, minorities, children, seniors and workers are legendary. It is not often enough that we hear how affectively Senator Kennedy fought for the millions of Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injury, an infliction health experts call the silent epidemic.' Brain injury survivors were not properly diagnosed, treated, or documented before Senator Kennedy passed the TBI Act in 1996. Senator Kennedy was the first to become their champion. He became their voice in Washington, and what a voice they have.
When I created the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in the later 1990s, I began working closely with Senator Kennedy to forge a commitment from the federal government to the millions of TBI survivors who suffer in silence. It is a commitment that we have strengthened over time and now serves as a foundation for the thousands of brain injured troops returning home the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I count Senator Kennedy's work on behalf of the brain injured among his greatest achievements.