Senate Holds Moment of Silence for Kennedy

Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:17pm

The Senate on Tuesday held a moment of silence for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) who died at 77 of brain cancer on Aug. 25. During the tribute, which lasted just over one and a half minutes, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stood with their heads bowed. Kennedy’s desk, which he used for 47 years and which once belonged to his brother, was draped with a black cloth and decorated with a vase of white roses. “I have to acknowledge that as I came into the chamber this afternoon and came upon Senator Kennedy’s desk … a tear or two came to my eye,— Reid said. Kennedy, who died after a 15-month battle with cancer, joined the Senate in 1962 following his brother John F. Kennedy’s ascent to the White House. Affectionately nicknamed the “liberal lion,— Kennedy served in the Senate alongside his brother, the late Robert F. Kennedy, from 1965 to 1968. Underscoring the Kennedy family’s rich history in the chamber, Reid noted “today is the first day since January 2, 1953, that a man named Kennedy does not have a desk on the floor of the United States Senate.— Members are expected to deliver individual tributes on the Senate floor throughout the week.