For some people of a certain age Ted Kennedy will always be the rich drunk who drove off the Chappaquidick Bridge and sent Mary Jo Kopechne to her watery death.
For others - especially those of us with deep roots in New England soil - he will always be the scandal-tarnished baby brother who would never follow in the footsteps of Jack or Bobby but nevertheless did great good.
In fact, Kennedy's fingerprints are all over virtually every major liberal Democratic legislative initiative of the past 45 years and a goodly number of bipartisan ones, as well. These include the 1980 Americans With Disabilities Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
There could be no more poignant a reminder of the greatness of this exemplar of noblesse oblige than when several Senate conservatives openly wept after it was announced that he has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
With the death of Ted Kennedy late Tuesday night, the dream of Camelot has ended, but the legacy of Camelot continues as vibrant and robust as ever.
Here are Ted Kennedy's words at the Democratic National Convention which nominated Barack Obama to be this nation's next President:
"There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination -- not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation. And this November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. . . . The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."
The torch has, indeed, been passed. The legacy of the dream lives on.
As King Arthur sang to the young boy, Tom, at the end of the play:
Don't let it be forgot.
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
In the Spirit of Camelot and in honor of the esteemed Senator from Massachusetts, I offer the lovely, lilting "We Will Go Home" - from King Arthur, the movie.
Ted Kennedy has gone home. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.