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Sat Jul 30, 2016, 12:54 PM


The teenager who cradled RFK as he lay dying [View all]

This article's almost a year old, but I came across it and wanted to share.


In June, Juan Romero did something he hadn't done in decades. He celebrated his birthday, going out to dinner with his family in San Jose.

"I always dreaded when June was coming up," said Romero, 65, who has struggled for most of his adult life to let go of his crippling memory of an American tragedy.

It happened just after midnight on June 5, 1968. Robert F. Kennedy had won the California presidential primary and made his victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Romero was a 17-year-old busboy.

A Roosevelt High School student who had moved north from Mexico at the age of 10, Romero recalled the photos of President John F. Kennedy that hung alongside those of Pope John XXIII in the homes of Mexican families.


On each anniversary of RFK's death, Romero takes flowers to a memorial in downtown San Jose, where Kennedy delivered a speech during his winning primary run. Romero misses Kennedy, or at least what Kennedy seems to have represented as a statesman and presidential candidate. He misses him all the more in the midst of a current campaign in which the hottest topic is a proposal to build a higher wall between Mexico and the United States.

"He made me feel like a regular citizen," Romero says of the night he delivered room service to Kennedy. "He made me feel like a human being. He didn't look at my color, he didn't look at my position ... and like I tell everybody, he shook my hand. I didn't ask him."

Romero has always believed the best way to honor Kennedy is to live a life of tolerance, to work hard, to take care of family, and to not be a burden.


Much more at the link...

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Reply The teenager who cradled RFK as he lay dying [View all]
Cooley Hurd Jul 2016 OP
workinclasszero Jul 2016 #1
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90-percent Jul 2016 #5
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unitedwethrive Jul 2016 #10
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leanforward Jul 2016 #12
Bonhomme Richard Jul 2016 #13
colsohlibgal Jul 2016 #15
workinclasszero Jul 2016 #17
fleabiscuit Jul 2016 #16
gratefultobelib Jul 2016 #18
Historic NY Jul 2016 #19
BlueMTexpat Jul 2016 #20