Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Place of Melancholy Taken Down

In the early 90s, I visited Los Angeles regularly on business, and stayed on Wilshire Boulevard near the old Ambassador Hotel. In the evening, sometimes, I would walk past the boarded up hotel where Bobby Kennedy's assassination changed the course of world history. The place was creepy - a weirdly charismatic and silent beacon of lost opportunity and hope.

I was 8 years old when Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy and cut short the first joyful, hopeful political campaign I ever noticed. Years later, when I shook the hand of Rosie Greer, the man who captured and rescued the assassin, I was overwhelmed, and unable to speak.

They've torn it down.

What will have this resonance for the coming generation? New Orleans? Abu Ghraib? Ground Zero?

Time marches on. The Ambassador is being replaced by a school. I think that's a good thing.


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