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Friday, October 5, 2018

Prayers for Juan Romero

Juan had just grasped Robert Kennedy's hand when gunshots rang out in the Los Angeles hotel where he was a busboy in 1968, one of them striking the senator in the head.

As Robert Kennedy lie on the floor he asked, "Is everyone ok?" Romero replied, "Yes, everyone's okay."  As he cradled his head, Juan gave him a rosary from his pocket and placed it in his hands.

Kennedy would die the next day and the teenage Mexican immigrant who had idolized him would carry the emotional burden of that encounter for most of his life.

"I remember him one time saying he felt guilty," his daughter, Josefina Guerra, said Thursday. "He thought it was his fault."

Her father explained: "'If I wouldn't have extended my hand (slowing him down), he wouldn't have gotten shot,'" she said.

Juan Romero died Monday in a Modesto, California, hospital following a heart attack. He was 68.

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