Senator Kennedy rushed to hospital

The Pittsburgh Channel sent a newsflash indicating that Senator Edward Kennedy was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital after falling ill at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport. Kennedy, 76, spent two hours in the emergency room before being transported via MedFlight helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

CNN reported Kennedy had symptoms consistent with a stroke.

Kennedy maintains a vigorous schedule. According to he web site, yesterday he was keynote speaker at a ribbon cutting ceremony at New Bedford Whaling National Park:

BOSTON, MA- Senator Edward M. Kennedy today joined Congressman Barney Frank, Dennis Reidenbach, the Director of the National Park Service for the Northeast Region, Lisa Sughrue of the Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE), State Senator Mark C. Montigny and State Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly named Corson Maritime Learning Center in New Bedford. The event celebrated the successful preservation of the Corson Building after a fire destroyed it in 1997, as well as the reopening of the structure that now holds new exhibits, theaters, and educational and archival space as part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

Senator Kennedy said, “Today, we celebrate New Bedford’s history and reaffirm our commitment to build on the great legacy of those who came before us such as, Herman Melville and Frederick Douglass to build a strong future for this unique city, a city that Melville called the ‘dearest place to live in, in all New England.’”

Senator Kennedy and Congressman Frank have secured $6.4 million in appropriations through the United States Department of Interior for the renovation of this historic building. For more information on the Corson Building and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, please visit www.nps.gov/nebe/.

His remarks for the event as prepared for delivery follow:

A little less than two years ago, we broke ground for this extraordinary facility, and today we can see that it was easily worth all the effort that so many put into this impressive project.

When this National Park was created over a decade ago, thanks to the vision and hard work of Tony Souza and WHALE, we knew it would be a success. But we had no idea how much it would actually add to the fabric of our city and to all the wonderful things going on in downtown New Bedford.

We could barely imagine how well the Park would work with the Whaling Museum, the new ferry service to the Vineyard, the AHA! arts programs, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the renovated Star Store, and the revitalized shops and restaurants to bring people downtown and add to our city’s vitality.

In little more than a decade, because of all your outstanding work, the Whaling National Historic Park has set a shining example for cities across the country – an example of the power of historic preservation and the importance of cultural awareness and education bringing the community together and promoting economic development.

What you have all built here will ensure that generations to come will learn about New Bedford’s remarkable history and enduring spirit. Needless to say, we also owe thanks to the National Park Service and its staff who have worked so hard and well with our community to make this new vision a reality.

I especially commend the Piva and Florek family members who have worked with all of us to turn the tragedy of the fire that ravaged the historic Corson building in 1997 into an opportunity to build an enduring new home for the National Park, and create this impressive learning center we’re opening here today. It would not have been possible without you.

Today, we celebrate New Bedford’s history and reaffirm our commitment to build on the great legacy of those who came before us such as, Herman Melville and Frederick Douglass to build a strong future for this unique city, a city that Melville called the “dearest place to live in, in all New England.”

We’re also blessed to have had such a strong group of committed civic leaders supporting us led by our great Mayor Scott Lang. We’re proud of New Bedford and its amazing history, and we’re sure that our Whaling City’s greatest days still lie ahead.

So, I thank all of you for the impressive job you’ve done. Congratulations on this major accomplishment, and I look forward very much to our work together in the years to come.