Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

Americas

Obama to offer eulogy at Kennedy funeral Mass

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-29

Former US presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and many other Washington notables, joined President Barack Obama and the Kennedy family at the funeral Mass of the late Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy.

REUTERS - U.S. presidents, members of Congress and the public gathered on a rainy Saturday to say goodbye to Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in American politics who contributed to major social changes of the last 50 years.

Senators and U.S. representatives of both political parties joined the large Irish-American Kennedy clan at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum for yet another tribute, which then moved to a Roman Catholic church for a funeral where President Barack Obama was to deliver the eulogy.

The gathering of dozens of lawmakers from the last several decades—many of whom had been Kennedy’s fiercest foes on legislation—heard a brief prayer before departing for the funeral.

Since Kennedy’s death on Tuesday of brain cancer at age 77, Americans have staged a series of memorials to the last of the Kennedy brothers and patriarch of a political dynasty that has been the closest thing to American royalty.

Kennedy’s casket will be flown to Washington after the funeral and taken to Arlington National Cemetery to be buried close to his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, who were assassinated in the 1960s.

Edward Kennedy’s early career was overshadowed by the lives and deaths of John and Robert, but he went on to serve nearly 47 years in the Senate, where he became a champion of liberal Democrats and was both reviled and respected by conservative Republicans.

‘Where would I be?’

“Where would I be as a black man without the Kennedys? They believe in civil rights and that’s why I am here to honor this great man,” said Clint Haymon, one of hundreds of mourners gathered outside the church despite a steady rain.

“We had to come here. He committed a lot of his time to causes we believe in,” said Douglas Geer, 43, of Walpole, Massachusetts, the father of an autistic child. “Our child benefited from his work.”

Boston police opened a blocked sidewalk and spectators ran to get a spot. Across the street, families leaned out windows from a row of three-story apartment buildings.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play and opera star Placido Domingo will sing at the funeral at a Roman Catholic basilica in a working class section of Boston.

The political figures on hand included former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Hours before he was to give the eulogy, Obama met privately for about 10 minutes with Victoria Kennedy, the senator’s wife.

The senator chose Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica because it was where he prayed daily while his daughter Kara, now 49, was at nearby hospital battling lung cancer in 2003.

On Friday, dignitaries from both sides of the political aisle attended an invitation-only memorial service at the Kennedy library that was punctuated by teary remembrances, funny anecdotes and song.

That followed a public viewing that drew more than 30,000 mourners—so many that security had to turn people away.

 

Date created : 2009-08-29

COMMENT(S)