Sen. Kennedy to be Buried Close to Brothers

Ted Kennedy will be buried near JFK at Arlington National CemeteryReuters/AP Photo
Gravesite of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery, where Ted Kennedy will be buried.

Sen. Edward Kennedy will be buried just 95 feet south of the area where his older brothers President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy were laid to rest only yards apart in Arlington National Cemetery, ABC News has learned.

Kennedy's body will be transferred via motorcade Thursday from Hyannis, Mass., to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, where he will lie in repose through Friday evening.

A private service to commemorate Kennedy's life, known as the Celebration of Life Memorial Service, will be held at the library Friday night.

On Saturday morning, Kennedy's funeral mass will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Roxbury, Mass.

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The church has been the location for many Kennedy family events, both celebratory and mournful. Kennedy prayed there daily while his daughter, Kara, successfully battled lung cancer, and the senator's nephew Michael Kennedy was buried there in 1998.

In 1986, Caroline Kennedy was married at the church, as was Kara Kennedy in 1990. Caroline Kennedy was also married at Our Lady of Victory Church in 1986.

President Barack Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Martha's Vineyard, not far from Hyannis, will speak at Kennedy's funeral Mass Saturday. The president is not expected to attend the burial services in Arlington.

In a public statement made from the island this morning, an emotional Obama called Kennedy "one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve this democracy."

After the funeral services, a private burial service for the senator will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, and Kennedy will be laid to rest alongside his two older brothers.

Kennedy's status as a former member of the armed services -- he was honorably discharged after serving as a private first class in the U.S. Army in 1953 -- and his tenure as a senator make him eligible for burial at the military cemetery in Virginia.

Though the official funeral is days away, people worldwide have begun to honor the late Sen. Ted Kennedy through makeshift memorials of their own.

In the nation's capital and across Cape Cod, residents lowered flags to half-staff in the senator's honor, and family loyalists threw coins in the fountain at the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Hyannis, where the Senator passed away late Tuesday night in the company of his family and friends. It's a public outpouring similar to those that popped up after the deaths of Kennedy's older brothers.

When President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 23, 1963, a series of public memorials preceded his final burial at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Before his burial, President Kennedy's body was placed in the East Room of the White House for 24 hours and the coffin, draped in an American flag, was later carried by a horse-drawn carriage to the Capitol rotunda, where he lay in state and was visited by hundreds of thousands of mourners.

On Nov. 25, 1963, a mass was held for the president at St. Matthew's cathedral in Washington, D.C., followed by the burial service in Virginia. An eternal flame remains today at the president's gravesite.

Five years later, Sen. Kennedy's brother Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles while he celebrated his success in the state's Democratic presidential primary. He was 42.

Robert Kennedy's body was flown to New York, where it lay in St. Patrick's Cathedral for mourners to come and honor the fallen presidential hopeful.

Sen. Kennedy delivered an emotional eulogy at the funeral mass on June 8, 1968, saying of his brother, "As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'"

Later that night a private train transported his body from New York to Washington, where he was laid to rest in Arlington, just a few yards from the gravesite of his older brother.

Ted Kennedy Eulogized John F. Kennedy Jr.

John F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. Kennedy's nephew, had an emotional burial at sea after he, his wife Carolyn and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette were killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard on July 19, 1999.

In the weeks afterward, Americans filled the streets of New York to grieve at planned and makeshift memorials for the crash victims.

Again, it was Sen. Kennedy who gave the eulogy at his nephew's memorial, lamenting, "From the first day of his life, John seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family."

Citizens, Obama Mourn Kennedy's Death

At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Mass., condolence books made available early today morning for museum visitors to sign in Kennedy's memory were already being filled with messages.

"He was a champion of the common man and left a great legacy of 46 years in the Senate," wrote Anlee and Bob Schaye of Newton, Mass. "He will be sorely missed."

Flower arrangements and photographs of Sen. Kennedy and his brothers flanked the books.

Allen Karot of Canton, Mass., wrote, "There will be no one who will be as passionate as Sen. Ted Kennedy was in fighting for all of us in Massachusetts."

Kennedy is the eighth of the nine children of Joe and Rose Kennedy to die. Following the senator's death, only one Kennedy sibling -- Jean Kennedy Smith -- survives.

Tribute areas honoring Kennedy are being set up at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, the JFK Museum in Hyannis, Mass., and Kennedy's Washington Office. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to educational programming at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.