August 27th, 2009
05:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Kennedy makes final visit to brother's presidential library

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Kennedy's body will lie in repose through Friday at the library."]

DORCHESTER, Massachusetts (CNN) - The body of Sen. Edward Kennedy was brought to his late brother John's presidential library Thursday, providing a final opportunity for countless local friends, family and constituents to say goodbye.

The senator's motorcade arrived at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library from the family's Hyannisport compound on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, after making a slow detour past several downtown Boston sites of importance to the Kennedy family.

Among other things, the motorcade crossed the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, a park named for the senator's mother and one-time family matriarch. It also passed applauding crowds of onlookers at historic Faneuil Hall, where Kennedy launched his ill-fated 1980 presidential campaign, the Massachusetts State House and the home that President Kennedy lived in when he first ran for
Congress in 1946.

A bell at Faneuil Hall was rung 47 times - once for each of Kennedy's 47 years in the U.S. Senate.

Kennedy's body will lie in repose through Friday at the library. There will be public visiting hours each day.

A memorial service will be held at the library on Friday evening. Sens. John Kerry and John McCain are expected to be among the speakers.

The funeral, to be attended by President Barack Obama and all four living former presidents, will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston's Mission Hill section. The church, commonly known as Mission Church, is a short distance from the library.

Obama, who called Kennedy an "extraordinary leader" Wednesday, will deliver a eulogy at the funeral, according to several sources.

Kennedy died Tuesday night at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

Burial is to take place at 5 p.m. Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington.

Kennedy is eligible for burial at Arlington due to his congressional service and his tenure in the Army from 1951 to 1953.

Army officials and members of Kennedy's staff met at Arlington National Cemetery a few weeks ago to discuss a plan for the burial, a senior Defense Department official said. The plan was then given to the family by staff members.

The proposed gravesite is 95 feet south of the grave of Sen. Robert Kennedy, the official said. Robert Kennedy's grave is, in turn, just steps away from the grave of their brother, President Kennedy.

Bad weather could affect Saturday's ceremonies.

Tropical Storm Danny, now churning east of the Bahamas, is expected to brush the East Coast and be near Cape Cod by Saturday evening.

–CNN's John King, Alec Miran and Barbara Starr contributed to this

Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. joe m

    the end of an era.

    August 27, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Rest In Peace

    He will really be missed. He was a great senator, and a great American.

    Rest in peace Senator Kennedy. You did a great job for America.

    August 27, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Slider

    The last of the Gracchi...

    August 27, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |