I’ve read quite a bit about Robert Kennedy and his assassination. It’s a difficult topic — a man so young, so vital being struck down. I don’t know whether he would have made a good president, a great president, but the story is compelling and heartbreaking.
I was browsing through a new blog I discovered (Iconic Photos) and discovered a few quotes that I must have simply breezed past in my prior reading.
Bobby came off the stage, found us, and Bill Barry said, “Senator, this way”. Bobby said, “No, Bill, I’m going back, I’m going this way.” Barry said to him in a very stern voice, “No Senator, this way”. He refused, and turned on his heel in the opposite direction, back towards the kitchen, because he had previously been criticised for not talking to the writing press enough. As he went, people filled in between him and us.
Imagine the heartbreak after the shooting — “If only I’d been more forceful”. Sometimes it’s only one decision that sets into motion a series of horrible events.
If Bill Barry’s second guessing (and he surely must have) was the only personal decision that might have saved RFK’s life, it would be bad enough, but…
Romero holds himself at least partly responsible for Kennedy’s death, and in his private moment with Kennedy now, he wanted to ask forgiveness. If he hadn’t been so intent on shaking Kennedy’s hand, he told me, he might have seen and stopped the assassin. He would have taken the bullet himself, he said, if Kennedy could have been spared.
I encourage you to read both articles.