Sen. Edward M. Kennedy Loses Battle with Cancer

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Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy will be laid to rest near his brothers John and Bobby at Arlington National Cemetery, his family said Wednesday.

Kennedy, who lost his year-long battle with brain cancer late Tuesday, will lay in repose Thursday and Friday at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, followed by a private service for the family.

A funeral will be held Saturday in Boston for the senator at Our Lady of
Perpetual Help Basilica, where Kennedy used to pray for his daughter Kara, who once battled cancer.

President Barack Obama joined lawmakers in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, in mourning the death of Sen. Kennedy. 

The president lauded Kennedy as being a collegue, counselor and friend who firmly marked his place in history as a "singular figure" on America's political landscape. 

"Even though we knew this day was coming, we awaited it with no small amount of dread," Obama said. "For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was a defender of a dream." Click here for the president's full statement.

Click here for an interactive look at the life of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

In an earlier written statement Obama responded to Kennedy's death, saying the country has lost a great leader.  The president also thanked Kennedy for his support in last year's presidential race.  Kennedy's endorsement was seen as a huge boost to Obama's campaign. 

"I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the presidency," Obama said.  Kennedy died at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass. late Tuesday night.  The 77-year-old had been battling brain cancer for a year. Kennedy will be laid to rest with his brothers at Arlington National Cemetary.

While still undergoing brain cancer treatment, the senior senator from the Bay State traveled to Denver to deliver a passionate speech at the Democratic National Convention in August of 2008.

"The work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on," Kennedy said to an enthusiastic audience.
    
Some political analysts saw this as the passing of the political torch from one of the longest-serving senators in United States history.  Kennedy served more than 45 years in the U.S. Senate.
    
When he was 30-years-old, Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962 to fill the seat of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.
    
Most assumed Ted would one day follow his older brother into the Oval Office.

"Today I formally announce that I'm a candidate for president of the United States," Kennedy declared in 1979.

However, he could not overcome what happened in 1969.  Kennedy drove his car off a narrow bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in the car.  The young senator took ten hours to report the accident.

But in the 1980s, Kennedy emerged as a force in the Senate, fighting for issues like tax reform and national health insurance.

Before he died, Kennedy called his efforts at legislating national health care reform the cause of his life.

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