Friends, family gather for Kennedy funeral

For decades, the Kennedy family's knack for drama and pageantry has held the nation spellbound, and the funeral service for the youngest of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's nine children was no exception. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and tenor Placido Domingo provided some of the music; Kennedy's relatives delivered the readings and prayers.

Sons Teddy and Patrick struggled at times to get through affectionate reminiscences. Patrick, a Democratic congressman from neighboring Rhode Island, described how his father cared for him during childhood asthma attacks, sometimes holding a cold compress on his son's head until he fell asleep.

Teddy choked up describing how his father insisted on taking him sledding shortly after his cancer surgery. "I know you can do it," he remembered his father telling him. "There is nothing you can't do."

Obama also highlighted the resilience and relentless optimism of a politician who persevered in the face of personal and political catastrophes, including a 1969 car accident in which Mary Jo Kopechne was drowned when a car Kennedy was driving veered off a bridge.

Though "he experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible," Obama said, Kennedy taught Americans by example that "individual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in."

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