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Sen. Kennedy Laid To Rest In Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTOS and Personal Reflection

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 07:39 PM
Original message
Sen. Kennedy Laid To Rest In Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTOS and Personal Reflection
Edited on Sat Aug-29-09 08:31 PM by Hissyspit
I am feeling a number of parallels in experience and emotion now, as we collectively as Democratic Underground and the nation view on television the coverage of the interment of Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery at sunset on a Saturday in 2009. Just visiting Arlington a week ago, I had my chance to see for the first time my father's headstone, the first chance since the funeral was held back in January.(It takes a while to construct and install the marker.)

My father, a veteran of Vietnam - two tours and two wounds - and a staunch if not quite rabid right-winger (he asssisted Cheney's campaign in 2004) died in November of last year of lung cancer - cancer brought on possibly by exposure to Agent Orange or to years of cigarette smoking or both. His funeral took place days before the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States and I spent a week in D.C. attending both the burial of my father, seeing Dad's friends and many of my relatives for the first time in a long time - a friend of mine from Baltimore came down and attended as well - and the inauguration of a new Democratic President, the President who my Dad would NOT have voted for, but did not live to see become President, a Presidency which marked symbolically the end of the horror of the Bush era within days of each other. Last week, as I left a small stone from the cemetery grounds on the top of my father's marker, I could hear the northern Virginia cicadas chattering. I hear them again now busy marking the late summer coming emanating from the cemetery landscape through MSNBC's live cable news coverage.

It was my father, along with my mother, who in 1971, first took me, a nine-year-old who found himself uprooted again by the military, this time to reside by the center of power where so much of historic weight was occurring, to the cemetery to visit the Tomb of the Unknown, and there I, as well, saw the eternal flame that Jacqueline Kennedy chose to mark the grave of a Kennedy brother and President of the United States. Because of the order in which those who are laid to rest in Arlington are placed in the cemetery grounds, my father was buried next to very recently interred soldiers who had died in Iraq, some of whose names I recognized from the news reports I had posted here. The ceremony was a mixture of moving symbolism, and prosaic reality. The single bugler, the presentation of the flag to dad's second wife, who then gave it to my sister, as arranged by my father without my sister's fore-knowledge, the horse-drawn caisson, the gun salute, the cold, the mud, the tensions among relatives.




My sister at my Dad's funeral.

It is with memories of this that I watch the Kennedy family lay to rest the last of the brothers, someone who served in the Army, visited Vietnam during the war, who spoke out against Vietnam and Iraq - someone who my father did not agree with, it is not too hyperbolic to say, on almost anything. They both lay in Arlington and I will go to visit them both, all of them, every time I have the chance.




The funeral procession of Sen. Edward Kennedy crosses the Memorial Bridge as it heads to Arlington National Cemetery from Washington, the Lincoln Memorial is in the background in Arlington, Va. Saturday Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday of brain cancer at the age of 77. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)




The flag-draped coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy is taken from a hearse at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Saturday Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday of brain cancer at the age of 77. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)




The flag-draped coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy is carried by a joint service military honor guard at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Saturday Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday of brain cancer at the age of 77. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)




The coffin of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy is removed from the hearse at Arlington National Cemetery for burial in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




An internment service for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy is held during his burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




The Kennedy family gathers around the grave site as an Honor Guard carries the casket of Sen. Ted Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va. on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy's remains will be buried alongside his slain brothers, John and Robert. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, Pool)




Military pallbearers carry the casket of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy as his wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy (3rd from R) and her son Curran Raclin look on at the grave side during the burial service for Senator Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




Kara Kennedy (C) stands behind the casket of her father during the burial service for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




Military pallbearers hold a flag above the casket of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy as his wife Vicki Reggie Kennedy (R) looks on at the grave side during the burial service for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




A bugler plays during the burial service for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




Family members gather at the coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy, 77, died Tuesday, Aug. 25 more than a year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, Pool)




Family members gather at the coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy, 77, died Tuesday, Aug. 25 more than a year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, Pool)




Edward Kennedy III (C) cries over the casket of his grandfather, U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)




Edward Kennedy III (C) cries over the casket of his grandfather U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY IMAGES OF THE DAY)




Mourners gather at the coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Kennedy, 77, died Tuesday, Aug. 25 more than a year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)




A bugler plays taps during the burial service for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)


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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Damn...I just CANNOT stop crying...
today. Thanks, HS!
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trayfoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. I know what you mean. It's been a hard day.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
20. I am glad they are a big family, able to comfort each other over the
long haul. I came home alone after Mama and Dad. There is nothing to help you but someone being there is a big deal. God bless all of them.
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I am sending you a big HUG. n/t
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-31-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. and I hug you back, sweetie.
:hug:
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Beautifully done...
Thank you.
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for this, and a hug for you.

:hug:
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thanks. I rewrote some of it, so you might want to read through my intro again.
It has more info and makes more sense now.
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maglatinavi Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. Eddie
Beautiful! Thanks for this remarkable show of love. God Bless you! Shalom!!!
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. Updated. nt
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. Dear Hissyspit.....
Thank you for writing this, for sharing a part of your family's loss.
It is a sad sad day today, and there are many sad memories for a lot of us.


:hug:
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks, dixiegrrrl. I wish my dad were still here and wish Sen. Kennedy could
serve another 20 years.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. A heart felt thank-you from me also. So many bittersweet memories
ready to come to the surface for you and so many of us.

Much peace to you.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. k&r
:cry:
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. The little Edward the third is something else..
I saw him doing a interview yesterday,now he has me crying again..
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. He has been a very strong little man. It must of been to much at the grave site. n/t
Edited on Sun Aug-30-09 12:44 AM by wisteria
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. Little Teddy
in an interview said that he wants to run for the senate when he is 45 years old -- that will be in year 2044. :)
Every time I see the photo of him crying tears once again start streaming down my cheeks.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. He is such a wonderful little boy...and he clearly loved his Grandfather
And the other kids did too. This brings back memories of going to my Grandpa's funeral when I was about 12. I still miss him twenty years later.
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. And ...
he looks a lot like his grandpa when Senator Kennedy was a young boy.
Chubby and the same face.

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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Very cute and sweet.
Very touching to see how much he loved his Grandpa.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thank y0ou Hissyspit. I also watched on MSNBC. The cicadas' call and the sunset
and lightning were part of an amazingly touching and surreal tribute to Sen Edward Kennedy.
Thanks for this post.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. Omg - Comfort those babies in their grief.
:cry:
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. ...
:cry: :grouphug:
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-29-09 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
16. .
:hug: :cry:
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littlesureshot Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
24. Beautiful tribute
Edited on Sun Aug-30-09 11:18 AM by littlesureshot
I have been crying for 3 days now. I keep thinking I have no more tears. And yet, they still come. My life has been marked by the events of this family's life. I do the work I do now because of how profoundly I was touched by the work of Bobby - and in no small part by the way Teddy picked up the baton.
His grandchildren's faces and words are etched upon my heart. Watch them as they grow. I believe they will step into his shoes. Clearly, they loved him as he must have loved them.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Thanks for that. Welcome to DU.
:patriot:

:toast:
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you, very nice reflection, n/t
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-31-09 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
27. sorry to be responding so late
but I had tears in my eyes all day, he will sorely be missed, and I thought there was alot of symbolism with the burial and how we could not see the family in the way for them to grieve privately. The Senate will never be the same. :-(
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