Kennedy Joins Brothers at Arlington

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Senator Edward M. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery as darkness fell Saturday evening, steps away from the graves of his brothers Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.

"There's something befitting about having a burial at the dying of the day," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop emeritus of Washington and a friend of the senator's, who presided over a small ceremony attended only by the senator's immediate family and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill.

For Mr. Kennedy, "his new life begins," the cardinal said, consoling the family and the senator's extended family "which probably must include most of America."

The cardinal read from a letter to the pope which Mr. Kennedy had asked President Obama to hand-deliver earlier this year, and the Vatican's response.

In his letter Mr. Kennedy described his faith and said: "I know that I have been an imperfect human being but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path." He also told the pope that despite his illness, he continued to work for healthcare reforms which would expand coverage to everyone and include provisions for Catholic healthproviders who felt it was wrong to provide abortions.

The ceremony ended with the senator's four grandchildren sharing their memories of sailing, talking and sharing Thanksgiving.

The senator was also honored with three volleys, a military funeral ritual, which was carried out by riflemen of the U.S. Army. Mr. Kennedy served two years in the army. The flag-draped casket had been carried to the grave by eight service members, from each of the branches.

Earlier, the senator was allowed one final visit to the U.S. Capitol after his funeral procession arrived in Washington. Hundreds of legislators and current and former congressional staffers waited hours to bid their final farewells. (See related Wash Wire post.)

At his funeral in Boston, Mr. Kennedy was eulogized as a statesman, legislator and family patriarch in a two-hour funeral attended by 1,500 mourners from the highest ranks of American society.

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