With his beloved blue-hulled 50-ft. schooner, The Mya, twisting on her anchor in front of the Kennedy compound – her flags at half mast – Senator Ted Kennedy’s body was loaded into a hearse at 1:47pm to begin his final voyage in this world. A Washington DC honor guard made up of nine members representing all branches of the military, known as the Armed Forces bodybearers, lifted his flag-draped coffin as black-clad members of the family silently wept. A few softly touched the coffin as it passed.
Earlier in the morning, the family gathered for a final memorial Mass in the Sun Room, where the Kennedys have traditionally held Mass here. Today the services were presided over by Donald MacMillan from Boston College. So many family members decided to take part in the motorcade that the proceedings were delayed over an hour as a Peter Pan bus was brought in. The procession will visit Boston’s North End, where Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy – Ted’s mother – was born; the Statehouse; and Bowdoin Street, the residence that President Kennedy first used when he ran for Congress and where now stands a federal building that bears his name. The Senator will then arrive at his brother’s presidential library in Dorchester where he will be laid out for viewing – the casket will be closed.