'Heartbroken' Barack Obama pays tribute to Ted Kennedy

Thursday August 27, 2009

As tributes pour in for veteran US senator Edward Kennedy, President Obama has spoken of his own heartache in bidding farewell to the 77-year-old.

In a special statement from Martha's Vineyard, where he is holidaying with his family, Mr Obama revealed he and wife Michelle are "heartbroken" at the passing of Ted Kennedy, who died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

"For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was a defender of a dream. An important chapter in our history has come to an end," Mr Obama said.

"Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."

And there will be another heartfelt speech from the president when he delivers a eulogy at the politician's funeral later this week.

The memorial service for the Democrat party hero - who was the third-longest serving senator in US history and brother of former President John F Kennedy - will take place in Boston on Saturday.

He will then be buried the same day at Arlington National Cemetery where the bodies of his brothers John and Robert also lie.

Photo: Rex

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