Goodbyes

A Call for Reform at Kennedy Service

At a private service for Senator Edward Kennedy, prominent politicians used his death as a rallying cry for health-care reform while also sharing personal memories of the senator. Senator John Kerry and Kennedy's nephew, Rep. Joe Kennedy, vowed to carry on Kennedy's fight. "Don't ever, ever, ever, ever give up," Joe Kennedy said to applause. The audience included a dozen U.S. senators, as well as the vice president and the entire Kennedy clan. Joe Biden remembered Kennedy’s support when Biden's wife and son were killed in a car crash in 1972. “He crept into my heart and before I knew it, he owned a piece of it,” Biden said. “He took on the role of being my older brother—I couldn’t understand why he was going out of his way for me.” Sen. Orrin Hatch remembered Kennedy donning an Elvis outfit for an office Christmas party. Sen. John McCain said he was "excellent company" and that "the place won't be the same without him." More than 50,000 mourners flocked to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to pay their respects to Kennedy over the past two days. All living presidents except George H.W. Bush will attend Kennedy’s Boston funeral on Saturday.