Bill Clinton, others mark anniversary of RFK's death

  • The Kennedy family gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of RFK's death 
  • Bobby Kennedy was running for president on June 5, 1968, when he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by a young Palestinian man 
  • The 42-year-old died a day later, leaving behind a wife and 11 kids  

By Associated Press and Ashley Collman For Dailymail.com

Published: 04:35 EDT, 6 June 2018 | Updated: 11:40 EDT, 6 June 2018

Former President Bill Clinton and members of the Kennedy family gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's death.

The former U.S. attorney general and New York senator was running for president on June 5, 1968, when he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by a 25-year-old Palestinan man angry over his support of Israel in the Six-Day War. 

Kennedy died the following day, leaving behind his wife Ethel and their 11 children.   

The couple's eldest child, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, one of their dozens of grandchildren, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, and Bill Clinton were among the many to pay tribute to the late politician at the event.  

Robert F. Kennedy Jr and arrives with his wife, actress Cheryl Hines, prior to a 50th anniversary memorial service for his father, Robert F. Kennedy,  at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday
Robert F. Kennedy Jr and arrives with his wife, actress Cheryl Hines, prior to a 50th anniversary memorial service for his father, Robert F. Kennedy,  at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday

Robert F. Kennedy Jr and arrives with his wife, actress Cheryl Hines, prior to a 50th anniversary memorial service for his father, Robert F. Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday

RFK's eldest daughter, Kathleen, spoke at the event. She said it was 'deeply moving' to see so many people gathered to remember her father
RFK's eldest daughter, Kathleen, spoke at the event. She said it was 'deeply moving' to see so many people gathered to remember her father

RFK's eldest daughter, Kathleen, spoke at the event. She said it was 'deeply moving' to see so many people gathered to remember her father

Bobby Kennedy is seen speaking at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, just moments before he was shot dead  
Bobby Kennedy is seen speaking at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, just moments before he was shot dead  

Bobby Kennedy is seen speaking at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, just moments before he was shot dead  

Congressman Kennedy gave one of the most moving speeches of the event, saying 'Robert Kennedy found the arteries of our American heart'. 

'Countless words have been used to remember my grandfather. Poetry has been written for the work he did and the life he lived. 

'But for a man who loved language its the images that tell his story best. The caress of a child's face in a shotgun house in the Mississippi Delta, his handon the shoulder of a coal minor in Eastern Kentucky, a small piece of bread shared with Cesar Chavez in a dusty field in Delano.

'Images of a father, a son , a brother, a husband, an uncle. Of a family home adorned to this day with photos of loved ones, graduations, weddings, silly moments with grandkids, great grandkids, his brood ever growing, his love enduring.

'Of his extraordinary wife and partner who 50 years after his passing still wears her wedding ring. Of a family who strives every day to make him proud. Those images accumulate here today,' Kennedy wrote.  

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Bobby Kennedy's eldest child, was among the first to speak. 

'It is touch to lose a parent. It was very painful to lose my father. And yet a half-century later, each of you have come here...you share our deep sense of loss and our happy memories,' she said. 

She went on to say it was a 'deeply moving tribute to the love my father inspired'. 

'Thank your for remembering,' she added.   

Country singer Kenny Chesney performed a cover of Woodie Guthrie's 'This land is your land'. 

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, left, and Congressman John Lewis, right, also spoke at the event, sharing quotes from RFK. Lewis got choked up as he read his quote, which was made on the assassination of his Civil Rights-era ally, Martin Luther King Jr. 

Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez was also chosen to read a RFK quote 
Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez was also chosen to read a RFK quote 

Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez was also chosen to read a RFK quote 

In addition to the ceremonies at Arlington, a special exhibition is planned at the home in suburban Boston where Kennedy was born.  The nine-room birthplace in Brookline has family furnishings, photographs and mementos on display.

The anniversary was not marked by the president, but Vice President Mike Pence issued his own statement on Twitter about the beloved Democrat. 

'Today marks 50 years since the passing of #RFK—a figure who inspired my youth and inspires me still,' Pence wrote. 'America will never forget his speech in Indianapolis the night of MLK’s assassination. He spoke words that brought comfort and unity to the American people.'

The Brookline, Massachusetts home where RFk was born (pictured above in 2002) is also marking the day with an exhibit
The Brookline, Massachusetts home where RFk was born (pictured above in 2002) is also marking the day with an exhibit

The Brookline, Massachusetts home where RFk was born (pictured above in 2002) is also marking the day with an exhibit

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