Mourners Gather To Pay Respects To Kennedy

An honor guard carries the casket of Sen. Edward Kennedy i i

Family members follow an honor guard as members carry the casket of Sen. Edward Kennedy to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, in Boston on Thursday. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP
An honor guard carries the casket of Sen. Edward Kennedy

Family members follow an honor guard as members carry the casket of Sen. Edward Kennedy to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, in Boston on Thursday.

Charles Dharapak/AP
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KENNEDY FUNERAL SCHEDULE

THURSDAY

Noon Private Mass at Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Mass.

1-3 p.m. Motorcade with Sen. Kennedy's body travels from Cape Cod to Boston.

6-11 p.m. The public visits Kennedy's casket at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston.

FRIDAY

8-3 p.m. Additional hours for public to pay respects at the JFK Library and Museum.

7-9 p.m. Memorial service at the JFK Library. The event is closed to the public.

SATURDAY

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston, where President Obama is scheduled to speak.

5:30 p.m. Burial service at Arlington National Cemetery. Closed to the public.

SUNDAY

Kennedy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery open for public visitation.

Sen. Edward Kennedy's flag-draped casket was placed inside a black hearse by a military guard at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., on Thursday as his family young and old looked on, many wiping away tears.

The motorcade carrying the late senator departed for Boston after the family had a private Mass at the seaside home.

Kennedy, who died Tuesday at age 77 after a more than yearlong battle with brain cancer, will be buried Saturday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery near his brothers, slain more than four decades ago.

During a two-hour journey to his brother's presidential library in Boston, the motorcade passed sites that figured prominently in the senator's life.

Among those accompanying Kennedy were nieces Caroline, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, and Maria Shriver, daughter of his late sister Eunice; and his son Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island congressman.

Crowds assembled along the 70-mile route that snaked from the family's compound in Hyannis Port, along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, past the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and by the JFK stop on the city's subway system.

Kennedy's wife, Victoria, put her hand over her heart as the procession rolled down Hanover Street in the North End neighborhood, past St. Stephen's Church, where his mother, Rose, was baptized and where Kennedy later eulogized her. The crowd applauded, and family members acknowledged them with a wave from their cars.

As the motorcade passed historic Faneuil Hall, a bell rang 47 times for each year Kennedy served in the Senate. It then moved past the site of Kennedy's first office as an assistant district attorney.

Finally it came to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, where his body will lie in repose. As many as 12,000 people waited in line to file past his closed casket and mark the end of a national political chapter that was equal parts triumph and tragedy.

Kennedy's widow, Victoria, who greeted well-wishers filing past the casket, said the outpouring was deeply moving for the family.

"I just want to thank them so much for coming this evening and showing love and support for my husband," she said. "It's a tremendous solace to all our family, and I just want to let them know how grateful we all are."

Austin Howe, 15, a high school student from Laurel, Md., and his 46-year-old father, Scott Howe, joined about 20 others at the JFK Library before it opened Thursday morning.

"He is someone who made a difference," Austin Howe said. "This is a person who served the people of Massachusetts and served the people of the United States."

Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, and his nephew, Joseph Kennedy i i

Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, and his nephew, Joseph Kennedy, thank visitors for their condolences. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Krupa/AP
Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, and his nephew, Joseph Kennedy

Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, and his nephew, Joseph Kennedy, thank visitors for their condolences.

Charles Krupa/AP

Trudy Murray, 86, a native of Ireland who later lived in England, said Kennedy helped her and her family get visas when they moved to the United States in 1969.

"I loved Ted Kennedy. I cried yesterday when I put on the TV and saw that he had passed away," said Murray, a retired nurse who now lives in Brockton.

At the JFK Library, a military honor guard joined members of Kennedy's family, friends and current and former staff members to stand vigil around the clock as thousands are expected to file past the closed casket.

An invitation-only memorial service will be held at the library Friday evening.

On Saturday, President Obama will speak at a private funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, commonly known as the Mission Church, in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood. It is the church where in 2003, Kennedy prayed for his daughter, Kara, who was successfully treated for lung cancer at a nearby hospital.

A church official said former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush also are expected to attend the Mass.

On Saturday evening, Kennedy will be buried near his slain brothers at Arlington. Other Kennedy family members buried on the famous hillside include former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and the former president's son, Patrick, who died two days after his birth.

From NPR staff and wire reports

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