August 29, 2009 / 6:23 PM / 10 years ago

Quotes from Senator Kennedy's funeral service

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. presidents, political leaders, friends and family gathered on Saturday to say goodbye to Senator Edward Kennedy.

Following are some quotes from the funeral service held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

“Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others - the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from.”

“We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of healthcare or workers’ rights or civil rights. And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did.”

“We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power — but only for the people and the country he loved.”

TED KENNEDY JR., son:

“There is also much to be said and much will be said about my father the man: the story-teller, the lover of costume parties, a practical joker, the accomplished painter.

“He was a lover of everything French: cheese, wine and women. He was a mountain climber, navigator, skipper, tactician, airplane pilot, rodeo rider, ski jumper, dog lover and all-around adventurer. Our family vacations left us all injured and exhausted.”

“My father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable and it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father’s greatest lessons.”

“He even taught me some of life’s harder lessons, such as how to like Republicans.”

PATRICK J. KENNEDY, son:

“May your dream for a better, more just America never die.”

Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Vicki Allen

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