Ted Kennedy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside the brothers he followed into political history.
Kennedy, the younger brother of former President John F. Kennedy and former Attorney General Robert Kennedy, died late Tuesday at age 77 after a long battle with a brain tumor. He will join five Kennedy family members now buried in the storied cemetery, following a funeral Saturday at Mission Church in Boston where President Obama is expected to deliver the eulogy. A two-day wake will take place Thursday and Friday at the JFK Library and Museum, also in Boston.
Four Kennedy family members already lie at the site of the eternal flame: JFK, his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy; their baby son, Patrick, who died after two days; and a stillborn child. Former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is buried a short distance away.
A private in the U.S. Army from 1951-53, Ted Kennedy went on to serve 46 years in the Senate representing Massachusetts. On Wednesday, President Obama called him "the greatest United States Senator of our time."
"An important chapter in our history has come to an end," said Obama, who is vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, not far from the Kennedy compound on Hyannis Port where Kennedy died. "Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."
In the Senate since 1962, Kennedy was a dominant voice on health care, civil rights and immigration. Only two other Senators served longer in the Senate than Kennedy. He was the last surviving brother of the storied political dynasty that has seen tragedy and triumph on the national stage. His brothers, JFK and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated. Another brother, pilot Joe Kennedy was killed in World War II. A sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died Aug. 11.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the legislative body would now mourn its "patriarch." In a statement, he said: "Ted Kennedy's dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."