Five years after JFK’s assassination, Senator Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy rose to try to reestablish JFK’s government of hope; the hearts of Americans quickened and excitement flared. Then tragedy struck again. RFK was gunned down after delivering his victory speech in California’s Democratic presidential primary. His body was then flown to New York City for the memorial services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
On that dark summer day, shortly after I arrived at work at the LOOK offices, editor William Arthur called me. As I entered his office, he looked up and said, “Paul, there’s a train at Penn Station that’s going to take Bobby’s coffin to Washington, D.C. Get on it!” It was a command. I turned around, got my cameras and film, and got on the train.
The blow was monumental. Hope-on-the-rise had again been shattered and those in most need of hope crowded the tracks of Bobby’s last train, stunned into disbelief, and watched that hope trapped in a coffin pass and disappear from their lives.
It took a long time to get these photos published. They were first published more than 30 years after Bobby’s death. I dedicate the work to my son and daughter, with the hope that they will live in a world that increasingly embraces and flourishes with the visions of freedom, social justice and individuality that Bobby dreamt of.