Category Archives: Ted Kennedy

Kennedy’s private memorial service streamed live.

For those folks that do not own a telly, at 7pm eastern, the private memorial service for Senator Kennedy will be streamed live at tedkennedy.org. A schedule of events is below, courtesy of the website:

Friday, August 28th, 2009
Lie in Repose at John F. Kennedy Library and Museum8 a.m.-3 p.m. Senator Kennedy will lie in repose at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.
Within one hour of the line being opened to the public on Thursday, 12,000 people came to pay their respects to Senator Kennedy. By 10pm, 21,000 people—from all corners of the world—stood in line to thank Senator Kennedy, and hours were extended to 2:00 a.m.

This event is open to the public and pooled press.

Celebration of Life Memorial Service7 p.m.-9 p.m. A private memorial will be held for Senator Kennedy at the JFK Library and Museum with Senator Kennedy’s family and friends.
A Celebration of Life will honor Senator Kennedy and his love of family and friends, his passion for life and his commitment to public service. The memorial is a way for the people closest to Senator Kennedy to celebrate his life—with his love of music, laughter and stories with friends and family he adored. Many members of Senator Kennedy’s family and close friends will participate in the program, as will representatives of his Senate and Massachusetts families.

The celebration is closed to the public and press corps size will be limited due to space constraints.

The speaking program includes:

– Paul G. Kirk, Jr.
– Father Gerry Creedon, S.J., Opening Prayer
– “God Bless America,” Boston Community Chorus
– Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II
– Senator Christopher J. Dodd
– Nick Littlefield
– Governor Deval L. Patrick
– Senator John McCain
– Video Tribute
Directed by Ken Burns and Mark Herzog
– Senator John F. Kerry
– Senator Orrin G. Hatch
– “The Impossible Dream” sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell, soloist
– Mayor Thomas M. Menino
– Senator John C. Culver
– “Just A Closer Walk with Thee,” sung by Boston Community Chorus
– Vice President Joseph R. Biden
– Caroline Kennedy

Saturday, August 29, 2009
Funeral Mass10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Senator Kennedy’s funeral mass will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica,1545 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA
Guidance Note: While his daughter, Kara, was battling lung cancer at a nearby Boston hospital, Senator Kennedy attended Our Lady of Perpetual Hope each day and prayed for Kara and her recovery. Over time, the Basilica took on special meaning for him as a place of hope and optimism.

This event is closed to the public and press will be pooled.

Washington, D.C. Motorcade, Stop at U.S. CapitolApprox. 3:00 p.m. Arrival of Senator Kennedy at Andrews Air Force Base.
4:30 p.m. Arrival at U.S. Capitol
The Senator’s motorcade will stop at the Senate steps for a brief prayer so that Senate staff and members of the broader Senate community with whom the Senator worked can bid a final farewell.

Motorcade Route From Andrews Air Force base, Senator Kennedy’s motorcade will proceed to the east plaza of the US Capitol building. The motorcade will enter through the Independence Ave entrance and proceed past the Senate Chamber steps. The motorcade will then proceed to Arlington National Cemetery via Constitution Ave.

Arlington National Cemetery5:30 p.m. A burial service for Senator Kennedy will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.
The burial service is closed to the public and pooled press.

Senator Kennedy will be laid to rest next to President Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery. Senator Kennedy spent more days than most at Arlington, the resting place for our nation’s heroes, visiting the graves of his beloved brothers and paying tribute to the fallen men and women of Massachusetts who gave their lives for our country.

There will be some good people speaking about Senator Kennedy and his life. It’s only fitting for a man that spent over 40 years serving the constituents in MA.

Cspan will also show today’s memorial service and tomorrows burial service live.

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He was the voice of the voiceless.


He is lying in state now. The 24 hour cable news channels are showing the inside of the JFK library where Teddy is laying and all told, over 12,000 folks have filed past his casket covered with the American flag to pay their last respects to Senator Kennedy and his family.

It’s his family I have been thinking about today. Niece Caroline, his wife Vicky and all the kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids. They have lost the last patriarch of the Kennedy family.

Eunice and now Teddy. It saddens me to think of all the emotions they are all feeling lately. From his only surviving sibling to the youngest child and grandchild, they surely all loved him and looked to him for guidance at some point in their lives.

And for the haters in the blogosphere, let me say this: Mary Jo Kopechne’s mother Gwen never held any hate or malice in her heart for Senator Kennedy. She actually encouraged him to run for office again after the Chappaquiddick accident, when he was considering getting out of politics altogether.

Thank heaven she did that..otherwise we never would of seen Teddy’s full potential as the champion of the downtrodden or just simply..the voice of the voiceless.

Ted Kennedy’s words on healthcare for all..from 1980


They ring as true today as they did 29 years ago. From MoJo:

We cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society. So I will continue to stand for a national health insurance. We must—we must not surrender—we must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the size of a family’s wealth.

The president, the vice-president, the members of Congress have a medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the federal government? And I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the president, the vice-president, the Congress of the United States, then it’s good enough for you and every family in America.

It’s like he said them yesterday…sadly nothing has changed in the 29 years since he said them to the Democratic National Convention.

Time Magazine will publish a commemorative issue September 7th.

The Lion of the Senate has died.


He passed on at the age of 77 shortly before midnight. He was in Hyannis Port with family. After four decades in the Senate, the last of the Kennedy brothers has joined his brothers Joe Jr, John and Robert on the other side.

But Teddy must of known his end was near. Last week he sent a letter to MA Governor Deval Patrick requesting that the law be changed to allow a replacement to take his seat immediately upon his death or resignation. From Chris Cillizza’s The Fix:

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s letter to Gov. Deval Patrick requesting that state law be changed so that if he steps aside in the near future an interim senator would be appointed in his place set off a new round of speculation about the future of the legendary Senate seat.

Kennedy’s proposal would amend a 2004 state law that calls for a special election to fill a Senate vacancy at least 145 days after the seat comes open, allowing the governor to appoint an interim replacement so that the state is not lacking a vote in the Senate in the period leading up to the special election. (The law was initially written to keep then Gov. Mitt Romney from appointing a Republican replacement if Sen. John Kerry was elected president.)

From CNN, some of the highlights of his career as a public servant for over forty years:

But while the White House eluded his grasp, the longtime Massachusetts senator was considered one of the most effective legislators of the past few decades. Kennedy, who became known as the “Lion of the Senate,” played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, and was an outspoken liberal standard-bearer during a conservative-dominated era from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

He did so much to advance equality of all kinds for all people. Good bye Teddy…you can now rest. What follows is his surprise speech at the Democratic National Convention last August:

Like President Obama, Ted was a moving orator. His words will be here for all eternity. He was a wonderful eulogizer as well. Sadly, he had to bury so many of his family members, the most recent his sister Eunice, who’s funeral he could not attend due to his health. From the Daily Beast writeup, part of Teddy’s eulogy for Bobby, which should also apply to Teddy:

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.

His personal life was filled with mistakes, pain and tragedy..imagine that, he was human..but his body of work as a public servant will live on. The healthcare bill was his pride and joy, fighting for decades to see that all people had access to quality healthcare. As Robert Byrd said today, the healthcare bill should bear Teddy’s name. As Robert Reich said in his post tonight on Ted:

We owe it to him and his memory to do it soon and do it well.

Leave your condolences for the family here at tedkennedy.org. There are wonderful sections about Ted on the site, peruse them and savor what he did for all of us for over forty years. The tribute video below was shown at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor

Its the worst kind..and life expectancy isn’t very long. But he has great healthcare, unlike millions of Americans, so I hope they can arrest it. From MSNBC:

Here is the statement from from Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, primary care physician, Massachusetts General Hospital: “Over the course of the last several days, we’ve done a series of tests on Senator Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Sen. Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Sen. Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy.”