Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Because I have never been to Washington before, I took the day today to take the Metro into the city and to walk around. If I ever have any pretensions of grandeur, a day spent wandering around D.C. in complete anonymity is a good remedy.

And so it happened that on this day, June 6, 2008 - 40 years to the day after his assassination - I found myself standing at the final resting place of Robert F. Kennedy, thinking about war and peace and about in these historic times.

Kennedy's grave, as you can see from the picture above, is a simple wooden cross, usually unadorned, except on this day of all days. There is a dignity and grace in anonymity, and far better people than I have walked this Earth, their contributions unremarked, their names unknown.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

On this day, I'll spare a thought for my friends in the United States, to wish them well, and most of all, to wish them peace.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 30, 2022 1:01 p.m.