BROOKLINE — In an emotional goodbye, Kara Kennedy was laid to rest today during a private burial in the family plot at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline.
Pallbearers were seen carrying the casket of Kennedy, 51, daughter of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, to the plot at about 5:10 p.m.
Reporters were kept off the cemetery grounds, but witnessed the service on a tree-lined street several hundred yards away.
After a prayer from the Rev. Donald MacMillan of Boston College, several family members placed white roses on top of Kennedy’s casket.
Also during the service, David Coleman, director of a choir at Tufts University, sang renditions of “Moon River’’ and “My Sweet Lord.’’
Cemetery workers were seen lowering the casket into the plot at about 5:30 p.m.
Family spokesman Conor Yunits said that about 20 family members, including Kennedy’s mother Joan, her brothers Edward Jr. and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and her children Max, 14, and Grace, 17, flew into Logan International Airport today after a funeral Mass was celebrated for Kara in Washington, D.C.
Yunits said Kara’s brother, Edward, accompanied the casket on a commercial flight and the other family members flew to Boston in two private planes.
The family motorcade arrived at the Brookline cemetery under State Police escort at about 5 p.m.
Yunits said that in addition to family members, about 10 family friends and former staff members attended the burial.
Mourners began leaving the cemetery at about 5:50 p.m.
Kara Kennedy was buried in the family plot alongside her grandparents Joseph and Rose Kennedy, her aunt Rosemary Kennedy, and her cousins David Kennedy and Michael Kennedy, according to a family statement.
Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy bought the family plot in 1958 for $15,000, the statement said.
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, son of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, was the first family member buried in the plot in 1963, according to the statement. His remains have been moved to Arlington National Cemetery.
The plot is located on a hill in the cemetery, and four headstones were visible from where the media stood today.
Earlier in the day, a spirited memorial service in Washington filled with laughter and tears, Kara Kennedy was remembered today as a loving mother, a devoted friend, and an adventurous woman “made in her father’s image.’’
“She was filled with strong emotions and empathy for others,’’ said her brother Edward. “She was passionate and compassionate.’’
More than 650 mourners packed into Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington for the funeral Mass. Among them were Vice President Joe Biden, Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and members of the Kennedy clan, including Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver.
Kennedy died of an apparent heart attack on Friday after working out at a local health club.
Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002, she was given only one year to live. But she lived another nine.
The Kennedys have long been the victims of family tragedies, from the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy in the 1960s to the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999.
Kara Kennedy’s death hurts just the same, said her brother Patrick. But in memorializing her today, he took solace in the memories of his sister and their father sailing together off the waters of their Cape house. He said he knows they are now together again.
“Dad now has his first mate, his crew with him, as they set sail,’’ said the former congressman.