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Mourners gather in Mass. for Kennedy memorial
Question of the Day
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.
Click here to see a timeline of Mr. Kennedy’s life.
“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.
“He made his mistakes, but I don’t even want to hear them. I forgive all of them because he was such a good man,” she said.
A private memorial service is planned at the presidential library Friday evening and a funeral Mass on Saturday morning at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica — commonly known as the Mission Church — in Boston. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the funeral.
All the living former presidents will also attend the funeral, said a person familiar with the arrangements who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details.
Shortly before the Mass, 44 sitting senators and 10 former senators will be among a group of about 100 dignitaries paying their respects at the library before heading to the cavernous basilica.
Among them will be former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, of Indiana, who pulled Kennedy from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed near Springfield, Mass., in June 1964. The pilot and a legislative aide were killed, and Kennedy suffered a broken back.
Kennedy’s favorite song, “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha,” will be played at one of the services, according to the person familiar with the arrangements.
Thursday’s motorcade was expected to go by St. Stephen’s Church, where his mother, Rose, was baptized and her funeral Mass celebrated; cross the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Boston park that he helped create and that is named after his mother; and pass historic Faneuil Hall, where Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will ring the bell 47 times, once for each year Kennedy served in the Senate.
Kennedy will be buried Saturday evening near his slain brothers — former President Kennedy and former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — at Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia.
• Ray Henry reported from Hyannis Port.
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