From the Associated Press, a report on the funeral procession that yesterday bore the body of Senator Edward M. Kennedy from Hyannis Port to Boston:
His life's journey ended, the body of Sen. Edward Kennedy traveled by motorcade Thursday from the family compound where he spent his last days, past the building where he opened his first office to the presidential library named for his slain brother.From the Boston Globe, similar sentiments:
Thousands of mourners assembled along the 70-mile route, gathering to bid farewell to the last of the famed Kennedy brothers and mark the end of a national political chapter that was both triumphant and tragic.
For many, it was hard to untangle Kennedy's larger-than-life role as a statesman from his role as neighbor and local celebrity, whether he was taking a turn conducting the Boston Pops or throwing out the first pitch for the Red Sox.
"It was Teddy's home team. It just seemed appropriate to leave him the cap," said James Jenner, 28, placing a Red Sox cap he was wearing near the entrance to the library. "It symbolizes everything that he loved about his home state and everything he was outside the Senate."
Yesterday's procession, for all its grandeur and scope, seemed to captivate the region because many knew Kennedy not as an exalted senator and powerful statesman, bellowing on the national stage, but as an intimate figure who frequented their neighborhoods, knew their names, and exuded an uncommon compassion, especially in private moments.The Cape Cod Times quotes some Cape residents who turned out to say goodbye to their longtime neighbor as he left the Cape for the last time:
"We're his family," said Teresa Antonelli, 82, who watched the senator's hearse pass through the North End and who carried a plastic bag with a framed photograph of Kennedy with her son.
"We loved him so much," she said, her voice breaking. "We'll miss him so much."
At the intersection of Bearse's Way and Route 132 [in Hyannis], hundreds of people lined the street, some waiting more than two hours to catch a glimpse of the motorcade.Later in the same Cape Cod Times article comes this tribute, which moved me more than anything else I've read in articles covering Senator Kennedy's death:
Ava Pothier, who set up her chair in front of the Cape Codder Resort & Spa, remembered her grandmother crying when she heard that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. At the news of Sen. Kennedy's passing, she felt the same devastation, she said.
"I couldn't leave my house. I cried all day, don't know why, just because they've been with us all our lives," said Pothier, of Harwich. "It's just a weird thing, I don't know. I feel a connection. I feel a loss, too."
Wendy Higgins of Marstons Mills brought her two daughters, ages 6 and 7, and two other young family members to watch the procession. While the girls admitted they did not know what was happening, Higgins hopes someday they will.
"Later in life, they'll learn about it and understand it and they can say that they were a part of it," she said.
Linda Thomas of Ringwood, N.J., stood stoically, holding her daughter Marisa's wheelchair in place and grasping a simple cardboard sign that read "Thank You" in big black letters. Marisa has cerebral palsy and is blind. Thomas was on the Cape visiting relatives when she heard about the senator's death.Thank you, Ted. We'll miss you. AMDG.
"We wanted to see Mr. Kennedy go by and to say thank you for the Americans with Disabilities Act," Thomas said. "Both he and his family did so much good for people with disabilities. (Marisa's) emblematic of the type of person they helped."