A large bronze memorial bust of Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General in the 1960s, sits in the center of Brooklyn, New York, at Columbus Park. Kennedy, a Democrat, served as New York’s U.S. Senator from 1965 to the time he was assassinated in June 1968 while running for his party’s Presidential nomination.
Sculptor Anneta Duveen, a native of Brooklyn, was commissioned to create a large, oversized bust of Kennedy. Her piece was completed in 1971 and was dedicated in 1972. It features a polished granite pedestal with four quotes from Kennedy inscribed at the statue’s base. The four excerpts from Kennedy are meant to inspire community action, whether at the local, national, or global level. On November 2, 1972, Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, attended the ceremony unveiling the sculpture of her late husband, marking New York City’s first memorial to its former Senator. The bust is located in Columbus Park in front of the New York State Supreme Court building east of the Borough Hall subway station.
Engraved on the granite surface surrounding the RFK monument at its base are these four quotes from Kennedy:
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people speaking out — in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out — in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes — let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.
What we require is not the self-indulgence of resignation from the world but the hard effort to work out new ways of fulfilling our personal concern and our personal responsibility.
We must get our house in order. We must, because it is right. We must because it is might.