After the rifle team fires three volleys, a bugler plays a mournful Taps
"May the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace," McCarrick said, then led the mourners in the Lord's Prayer. Darkness began to fall as the service continued.
McCarrick read from a letter that Kennedy had asked President Obama to deliver to the Pope as Kennedy's illness worsened. "I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines," Kennedy wrote. "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: "They called him the lion of the Senate and, indeed, that is what he was. His roar and his zeal for what he believed made a difference in our nation's life."
"As we think of Teddy, we know that his new life begins, and as we look at this great family, we're sure that new life is already beginning and that new great things are happening," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The pallbearers march up a slope, followed by members of the immediate family, who take their places on the stage. The servicemembers place the casket on the lowering device over the grave, then remove the flag and hold it above the casket.
The military honor guard has removed the casket from the hearse and begun marching with it to the burial site.
The mourners are standing behind a small platform with two rows of chairs on it, which overlooks the grave. The flowers lining the stage are white hydrangea. Meanwhile, the military honor guard of eight members from all five service branches is getting ready to remove the casket from the hearse as Patrick Kennedy looks on.
Mourners are beginning to gather at the gravesite, which is about 20 feet off Sheridan Drive in the cemetery and exactly 100 feet from Robert F. Kennedy's gravesite. The Eternal Flame where John F. Kennedy is buried is also nearby. Edward Kennedy's grave was dug at 7 a.m. today and is currently covered with Astroturf.
Seven members of an Army rifle team are standing at attention on the grass. They will fire off three volleys, a military funeral ritual.
The motorcade is on Memorial Drive, the road that leads into the cemetery.
The motorcade rolls by the Lincoln Memorial as people applaud. Robert Kennedy Jr. waves out the window to well-wishers. Then the hearse crosses Arlington Memorial Bridge, entering Virginia. The motorcade has been moving so slowly a jogger at one point could be seen easily outpacing it.
The motorcade is approaching the Lincoln Memorial. People are lining Arlington Memorial Bridge, where the motorcade will cross over the Potomac into Arlington. Some people are watching from the memorial itself.
The motorcade is crawling along. People are filming and waving. The hearse has just passed the Ellipse and the south lawn of the White House on its right.
People are lining the route down Constitution Avenue as far as the eye can see.
With applause and cheers rippling through the crowd, the motorcade now heads down Constitution Avenue, which runs past several of the national museums, past the National Mall (with the Washington Monument on the left and the White House on the right ), past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then past the Lincoln Memorial before heading over Memorial Bridge into Arlington to the cemetery.
After hugging and kissing more people, Vicki gets back into her limo. Patrick Kennedy thanks the staffers. "He knew that he was only great because he had great people supporting him," Patrick said.
Coughlin: "Faithful servant of the people, long-time spokesman for government of the people, go now to your place of rest and meet the Lord, your God. We thank you, Lord, for the short time you have given us to work together, to be together."
Samuel Barnes, choral director of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, led the crowd in singing "America the Beautiful."
"Though in the sight of the people your servant Senator Ted Kennedy suffered greatly and took on enormous tasks, Lord, you knew his hopes were unquenchable, full of immortality," said
the Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin, the chaplain of the House of Representatives.
Applause breaks out as the motorcade approaches. Police officers salute as the hearse goes by. It stops in front of the steps, with the flag-draped casket visible through the side window.
The motorcade is approaching the Capitol.
A round of applause breaks out as the ailing Byrd is wheeled to the front of the steps. Police appear to be preparing for the arrival of the funeral procession.
A big, ugly storm cloud has descended over the Capitol with bright sunshine peeking through the edges. But paramedics are still helping people with heat distress. Capitol Police are yelling for some of the crowd, pushing forward with anticipation, to "move back."
More people are gathering. Organizers say the ceremony should take 10 to 15 minutes, with Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the Senator's widow, expected to get out and greet staffers and members on the steps.
Some of the older members of Congress, including Representative John Dingell, are taking a seat on the Capitol steps to wait for the motorcade.
A man and a woman have secured a spot at the front of the crowd and unfurled an American flag. People are readying their cameras.
Members of the crowd flood closer to the Capitol front as the Capitol police give them the go-ahead. The public address system that will be used for the brief tribute is being tested.
Among those awaiting the arrival of Kennedy's casket is his long-time colleague and friend, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who is ailing himself and is in a wheelchair. Byrd could barely get through a speech on the Senate floor last year when talking about Kennedy's cancer diagnosis.
Paramedics assist a gentleman who fainted in the sweltering August heat. He appears to be OK as they escort him under his own power into the air-conditioned Capitol. Apparently because of the heat, the dress code in the crowd on the steps leans more toward shirt and tie, rather than the dark suits seen at the Boston service.
The crowd continues to grow, snaking from the Capitol to along Constitution Avenue to just across the street from the US Supreme Court building. One of the staffers on the Capitol steps is holding an Irish flag.
An estimated 2,500 members of the public are on hand, from graying political activists and Kennedy supporters to young children, craning their necks with expectation as the events unfold. Sirens can be heard as the members of Congress and staff walk toward the Capitol steps.
Senators are alighting from buses on Constitution Avenue, arriving from Andrews Air Force base to take their place on the Senate steps, where hundreds of Senate staffers are also waiting. It is a hot day. People are holding small American flags. The Capitol flag is flying at half-staff.
-- By Bryan Bender and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
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