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Kennedy Services Begin as Mourners Line Mass. Motorcade Route

Mourners lined up from Cape Cod to the JFK Library in Boston to commemorate the life of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kwame Holman reports.

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    A motorcade carrying the body of Senator Edward Kennedy traveled a 70-mile route from Cape Cod to Boston, Massachusetts, today. The hearse passed mourners who gathered to pay tribute to the man who served their state for 46 years.

    NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman has our lead story report.


    Family and friends gathered at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port this morning for the beginning of the formal farewell to Senator Edward Kennedy. The Senate icon died there Tuesday night after a year-long battle with brain cancer; only one of his eight siblings survives.

    After a private family mass, Kennedy's son, Patrick — a Rhode Island congressman — wrestled playfully with a nephew. Anthony Shriver joined in. Shriver's mother, Eunice, who was Senator Kennedy's sister, died just two weeks ago.

    A short time later, a military honor guard emerged from the home bearing the casket, moving slowly to a waiting hearse, and a final departure from the storied compound on Nantucket Sound.

    As the procession to Boston began, people lined the route, some moved to tears. Piped strains of "Amazing Grace" greeted the cortege. The motorcade wended its way past landmarks in Boston and on to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, where the senator's body will lie in repose until a funeral Saturday.

    As the remembrance and memorials continued, the business of filling Kennedy's Senate seat began in earnest. Last week in a letter, Kennedy asked the Massachusetts legislature to change state law to allow an interim successor to be appointed ahead of a special election.

    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick supports the idea. He appeared today on ABC's "Good Morning America."


    I think that the senator's made a very reasonable request. It is to permit the governor to make an interim appointment for about the five months it takes between the creation of a vacancy, between now and when that special election occurs. I support the idea of a special election, which is provided for in our current law, and the senator did, as well.

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