Get Adobe Flash player

Kennedy laid to rest

Sample Image

Senator Edward Kennedy has been reunited with his slain brothers – laid to rest in a Virginia cemetery as a lone bugle player brought the curtain down on a US political dynasty.
Surrounded by his tight-knit family which has dominated US politics for half a century, Kennedy's body was brought to Arlington National Cemetery Saturday, to rest on a hillside overlooking the nation's capital.
The late senator was buried 100 feet (30 meters) from the grave of his brother, Robert Kennedy, assassinated in 1968, and close to the eternal flame marking the last resting place of president John F. Kennedy, shot dead in 1963.
Three days of high emotion drew to a close as the nation bid a final farewell to the man who had the Kennedy mantle thrust on him and who spent 47 years tirelessly working in the US senate to improve the lives of others.
At a Catholic mass earlier in the Kennedy fiefdom of Boston, President Barack Obama, who won key support from the Kennedys in his race for the White House, eulogized him as "the lion of the Senate."
Obama, three former presidents and the nation's elite gathered at Boston's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to say farewell to the Kennedy family patriarch, who on Tuesday lost his fight with brain cancer. He was 77.
Obama hailed Kennedy as a "champion for those who had none, the soul of the Democratic Party, and the lion of the US Senate."
"He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party, of platform and philosophy from becoming barriers of cooperation and mutual respect, a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots," the president said.
Even though rain soaked Boston Saturday, hundreds gathered outside the basilica to say goodbye.
An estimated 60,000 people waited from Thursday night until Saturday morning at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to pay their last respects before Kennedy's coffin.
After the mass, Kennedy's flag-draped coffin was flown to Washington on the last leg of his final journey which had begun Thursday when it was placed in a hearse outside his Cape Cod home.
Ted Kennedy Jr., gave a moving address about his father's tenderness to him during childhood when he had a leg amputated because of cancer.
"He taught us that even our most profound losses are survivable," Kennedy Jr said. "He taught me that nothing is impossible."
And in a poignant moment, as the sun set over his graveside, the senator's voice could be heard in the gathering dusk from beyond the grave when his recent letter to Pope Benedict XVI was read out.
"The disease is taking its toll on me," admitted Kennedy frankly in the July letter, saying he was "preparing for the next passage of life."
The Vatican said in its reply the pope "was saddened to know of your illness and asked me to assure you of his concern and his spiritual closeness."
Benedict asked that Kennedy "may be sustained in faith and hope and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God."
A three-shot volley rang out, followed by the haunting sounds of the bugle player, as darkness fell leaving the eternal flame flickering in the night.