Renaming Boston’s Logan Airport after Ted Kennedy – Bad Idea

By | September 3, 2009
Lt. General Edward Lawrence Logan
Image by nsub1 via Flickr

The Boston Globe reports that a state representative has suggested renaming Logan Airport after the late Senator Ted Kennedy. It would be called Logan-Kennedy Airport. This is a bad idea.

For one, there is already a Kennedy Airport in New York. Admittedly named after the late President, John F. Kennedy, it would create unnecessary confusion. Renaming things also costs money in signage, advertising, etc. to get people used to the new name. And no disrespect to Ted Kennedy specifically, but there are plenty of things named Kennedy already. The Kennedy Center, the Kennedy Expressway, the RFK(formerly Triboro Bridge). If someone wants to honor the memory of Ted Kennedy specifically, they had better think long and hard about what would be the least confusing.

Then there is Lieutenant General Edward Lawrence Logan, for whom Logan Airport is named. Logan died in 1939, and during his life he was a city councilor, a state representative, a state senator, the first state commander of the American Legion, a leader of troops in both the Spanish-American War and World War I, and Presiding Judge of the South Boston Court. That doesn’t even factor in his charitable work.

It has been a long time since 1939, but honoring great men by dedicating statues and naming buildings and other institutions after them is a long tradition, and even though their significance may have faded from the public memory, which is certainly a shame, that does not lessen their accomplishments.

No honor should be taken away or diminished by having to share it, to say nothing to the confusion of continually adding extra names to things. Otherwise you end up with names like “Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs.” Although that name has faded into obscurity as well.

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