For two days, mourners poured through the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston where the late Senator Edward Kennedy was in repose. They were greeted by members of the Kennedy family who thanked them for the outpouring of love. A private memorial service was also held at the library where political dignitaries paid tribute to the late senator.
From morning to night, they traveled for miles and waited for hours to pay their respects to one of the most influential senators in American history.
|Mourners pay respect to Edward Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum|
For two days, the young and the old - tens of thousands of people from different backgrounds arrived at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston for a few moments with the late Senator Edward Kennedy - many call him by his nickname "Teddy."
Many of these mourners were met personally with a member of the Kennedy family, including the the late senator's wife, Victoria.
"Our whole family is deeply grateful, deeply grateful for this out pouring of love that's why I want to personally come and thank as many people as I could," she said.
Senator Kennedy died Tuesday at the age of 77 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was the last surviving brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, who were both assassinated more than 40 years go.
After the death of his brothers, Edward Kennedy took up his family's political legacy and became one of the longest serving senators in America, passing laws on health care, civil rights and education.
In this private memorial service Friday attended by family members and political dignitaries, Vice President Joe Biden
remembered Senator Kennedy's generosity.
"At the end of the day it was never about him it was always about you. It was a truly remarkable character trait," said Mr. Biden.
Republican Senator John McCain praised the late senator for his ability to reach across party lines to work on legislation.
"When we agreed on an issue and worked together to make a little progress for the country on an important issue he was the best ally you could have," said Mr. McCain. "You never even had a small doubt that once his word was given and a course of action decided he would honor the letter and the spirit of the agreement."
|John McCain pays his respects to Edward Kennedy|
The son of Robert Kennedy, Joseph said his uncle "Teddy" became his father figure after the death of his father.
He said Senator Kennedy not only cared for his family privately, but publicly, he was also a champion for the people he served.
"This was a man who cared so deeply about those on the outside of political and economic power," he said. "People who struggled… struggled each and every day to just get by. He lived his whole life fighting for those people."
And those people are showing their gratitude in their own way.