U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy for Senator Ted Kennedy
Saturday, honoring one of his mentors not only as a political champion,
but as a man of personal fortitude and compassion.
Speaking at a Catholic service in (the city of) Boston (in the northeastern U.S. state of Massachusetts),
Mr. Obama said Kennedy became the "greatest legislator of our time" by
seeking compromise. He also praised his "spirit of resilience" which
allowed him to overcome pain and tragedy, and his much-publicized
Kennedy was the patriarch of America's most famous political family, and his funeral drew many members of the Washington elite.
Former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended, with more than 60 current and former U.S. Senators.
Kennedy's casket is being flown to Washington, DC, to be driven by
motorcade past the U.S. Capitol, before proceeding to Arlington
National Cemetery. He is to be buried there near the graves of his
assassinated brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert
Edward "Ted" Kennedy died Tuesday at the age of 77 from brain cancer.
Serving for 47 years as a Democrat in the Senate, Kennedy was known as
the "liberal lion", taking positions that often angered his
conservative counterparts. But lawmakers who worked with him have
praised his ability to reach across party lines on important issues
like civil rights, health care and education.
His funeral follows several days of memorials during which Kennedy's
fellow Democrats, along with Republicans united in paying him tribute.
Former political foe and personal friend, Republican Senator Orrin
Hatch said he had battled Kennedy for 33 years, and "enjoyed every
minute of it.
Friday night, Vice President Joe Biden said Kennedy changed the way
Americans look at those who are different from them, with greater
tolerance for those differences.
Tributes also have come from other world leaders, highlighting
Kennedy's dedication to human rights and his work to end apartheid in
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not be attending the funeral, but wrote in Friday's Boston Globe that Kennedy is being mourned as a "great internationalist" who inspired social progress in every country.