Mourners: Kennedy 'was such a good man'Posted: Updated:
(AP) - A motorcade carrying the body of Sen. Edward M.Kennedy passed miles of mourners Thursday as it proceeded from theCape Cod home where he spent his final days to the presidentiallibrary in Boston bearing the name of one of his slain brothers.
Thousands of spectators gathered in Hyannis Port and Boston,clutching cameras, tissues and at least one flag of Ireland, theKennedys' ancestral homeland. Motorists stopped their cars onoverpasses, hoping to catch a glimpse. Crowds applauded and cheeredas the motorcade rolled slowly through Boston.
Virginia Cain, 54, said she walked just under 2 miles from hersummer home in Centerville to the roads leading to the Kennedycompound so she could witness history.
"I can remember where I was when President Kennedy died, andI'll remember where I was when the senator left Hyannis Port," shesaid.
The late senator's loved ones - including niece Caroline,daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, and son Patrick, aRhode Island congressman - arrived before noon for a private Massat the family compound in Hyannis Port.
Relatives watched afterward from near the house as theflag-draped casket was loaded into a hearse, then took turnstouching the vehicle on the way to their cars. As the motorcadepulled away for the 70-mile trip to the John F. KennedyPresidential Library and Museum, Patrick Kennedy sat in thepassenger seat of the hearse, near tears.
The motorcade passed several sites important to the senator onthe way to the library, which he helped develop and where he willlie in repose until Friday, a Senate office statement said. Bymid-afternoon, more than 100 people waited for the public viewingto begin at 6 p.m.
Ellen Freed, 58, of Brookline, arrived about 2:30 p.m. Freed,who is disabled because of epilepsy, credits Kennedy for herfederally assisted housing.
"I live in a HUD building, and if it wasn't for Ted Kennedy, Iwould be homeless," she said.
James Jenner, a 28-year-old culinary student from Boston, placedthe Red Sox cap he was wearing outside, where other mourners hadleft flowers, small American flags and a stuffed teddy bear withangel wings.
"It was Teddy's home team," Jenner said. "It just seemedappropriate to leave him the cap. It symbolizes everything that heloved about his home state and everything he was outside theSenate."
Trudy Murray, 86, a native of Ireland who later lived inEngland, said Kennedy helped her and her family get visas when theymoved to the United States in 1969.
"I loved Ted Kennedy. I cried yesterday when I put on the TVand saw that he had passed away," said Murray, a retired nurse whonow lives in Brockton.
"He made his mistakes, but I don't even want to hear them. Iforgive all of them because he was such a good man," she said.
A private memorial service is planned at the library Fridayevening and a funeral Mass on Saturday morning at Our Lady ofPerpetual Help Basilica - commonly known as the Mission Church - inBoston. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at thefuneral.
All the living former presidents will also attend the funeral,said a person familiar with the arrangements who spoke on conditionof anonymity because he was not authorized to release details.
Shortly before the Mass, 44 sitting senators and 10 formersenators will be among a group of about 100 dignitaries payingtheir respects at the library before heading to the cavernousbasilica.
Among them will be former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, of Indiana, whopulled Kennedy from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed nearSpringfield, Mass., in June 1964. The pilot and a legislative aidewere killed, and Kennedy suffered a broken back.
Kennedy's favorite song, "The Impossible Dream" from themusical "Man of La Mancha," will be played at one of theservices, according to the person familiar with the arrangements.
Thursday's motorcade went by St. Stephen's Church, where hismother, Rose, was baptized and her funeral Mass celebrated; crossedthe Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Boston park that hehelped create and that is named after his mother; and passedhistoric Faneuil Hall, where the bell rang 47 times, once for eachyear Kennedy served in the Senate.
Kennedy will be buried Saturday evening near his slain brothers- former President Kennedy and former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy - atArlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia.