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Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:41

Edward M. Kennedy

A compilation of news accounts concerning Edward Kennedy's passing.


kennedy bros
The Kennedy Brothers

Edward Moore Kennedy, one of the longest serving senators in United States history and a legendary political icon, died late August 25 after struggling with brain cancer for more than a year. He was 77 years old.

Family members said Senator Kennedy lived longer than his doctor expected after his diagnosis last year. "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the Kennedy family said in a statement. "He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it."

Kennedy will be buried in Arlington National Cemetary near two of this brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and former Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

President Barack Obama, whom Senator Kennedy endorsed during the 2008 Presidential race, lauded the Massachusetts Democrat for his tireless work for legilslation that changed the lives of millions. "Even though we knew this day was coming, we awaited it with no small amount of dread," Obama said. "His extraordinary life on this Earth has come to an end. The extraordinary good that he did lives on."

Senator Kennedy was an outspoken advocate for health care reform, long before the contentious, circus atmosphere town hall meetings of summer 2009, as demonstrated in this video (which runs 4:18).

The Kennedy family's full statement, posted to the Senator's official web site, is as follows:

"Edward M. Kennedy—the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply—died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him."

In July, the Senator was named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. At that time he said, ""I am profoundly grateful to President Obama for this extraordinary honor. My life has been committed to the ideal of public service which President Kennedy wanted the Medal of Freedom to represent. To receive it from another President who prizes that same ideal of service and inspires so many to serve is a great privilege that moves me deeply."

Senator Kennedy's sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died on August 11, 2009. The Senator said in a statement, "Eunice is now with God in heaven. My sister Jean and I, and our entire family, will miss her with all our hearts. I know that our parents and brothers and sisters who have gone before are filled with joy to have her by their side again."

Edward Kennedy was first elected to the Senate in 1962, while his brother John was president.


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