Ceremonies Under Way for Kennedy
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) lay in repose Thursday at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston as preparations continued in the late Senator’s home state and in Washington for ceremonies celebrating his life.
In Washington, House and Senate leadership aides were preparing travel arrangements for a massive Congressional delegation to head to the funeral, scheduled for Saturday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will lead the CODEL, which is expected to include at least 40 current Senators and as many as 20 former Senators. The CODEL is set to leave for Boston on Saturday morning from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Kennedy, in his 47th year in the Senate, died Tuesday night of brain cancer at the age of 77.
With Congress in recess and Members at home or on trips abroad, Democratic and Republican leadership aides spent much of Wednesday and Thursday trying to ensure lawmakers could attend the funeral ceremonies.
Among the Members joining Reid and Pelosi in making the trek are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen will also attend the funeral, as will Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will also attend.
President Barack Obama will eulogize Kennedy at Saturday’s funeral, which will be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston. Vice President Joseph Biden and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) are expected to speak at the memorial service Friday at the Kennedy Library.
Kennedy will be buried Saturday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia near his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-N.Y.). The procession is expected to cross the East Front of the Capitol en route to Arlington.
Meanwhile, tributes to Kennedy were continuing to pour out on Thursday. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a video celebrating his career.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington announced it would display a 1980 Andy Warhol portrait of Kennedy in its special “remembrance— gallery for public viewing. The Portrait Gallery opened the special gallery following the death of pop star Michael Jackson in June, according to the Associated Press.