Kennedy laid to rest

Kennedy laid to rest

The man who President Barack Obama called the “greatest legislator of our time” received final sendoffs in Boston and Washington, cities where the Irish-American patriarch of America’s pre-eminent political family wielded his power.

After a funeral Mass in Boston where the US political elite packed a Roman Catholic church, Kennedy’s flag-draped coffin was flown to Washington, where thousands lined the streets to see his motorcade make its way to Arlington National Cemetery.

Two hundred invited guests gathered around his grave site for final readings as darkness fell. He was buried near the graves of President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy. A military honour guard gave a three-volley rifle salute in honour of the Democratic senator. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a friend of Kennedy’s, presided at the burial and read from a letter to Pope Benedict in which the senator wrote: “I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines... I know that I have been an imperfect human being but with the help of my faith, I have tried to right my path.”

McCarrick also read the response from the Vatican which said the Pope gave Kennedy his “apostolic blessing”.

Since Kennedy died on Tuesday of brain cancer, there have been a series of memorials for the last of the Kennedy brothers, showing the fascination many Americans have for a family that is the closest thing to US royalty.

Victoria, his second wife who is credited with turning around Kennedy’s life after their 1992 marriage, was at the centre of the tributes, which match what the United States would normally reserve for a former president.

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