Political colleagues from both sides of the aisle will share memories, tell stories, and offer tributes at tonight's "Celebration of Life" memorial service for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Among fellow Democrats, the speakers included former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk Jr., Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Governor Deval Patrick, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, former Senator John Culver of Iowa (a roommate when both were Harvard undergrads), and Vice President Joe Biden, a Senate colleague for 36 years.
Among Republicans that Kennedy worked with, the speakers are Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and John McCain of Arizona, who was also the GOP presidential nominee last year.
The major piece of legislation that Kennedy and Hatch worked on was a $5.7 billion expansion of national service. Congress approved the bill this year, and both attended the April ceremony where President Obama signed it into law.
The most significant effort by Kennedy and McCain did not fare as well. Their comprehensive immigration overhaul, which included a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, met vehement opposition and was withdrawn in 2007 despite the support of then-President George W. Bush.
His sponsorship cost McCain some support during the Republican primaries, and now both he and Obama have put off another attempt until more work is done securing the borders.
And among family members, the speakers include former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and Caroline Kennedy.
The service "will honor Senator Kennedy and his love of family and friends, his passion for life and his commitment to public service. The memorial is a way for the people closest to Senator Kennedy to celebrate his life—with his love of music, laughter and stories with friends and family he adored," his office said early today.
It also includes a video tribute from famed filmmaker Ken Burns with Mark Herzog.
The memorial at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. is private but will be televised.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.