Passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy

Edward Kennedy with flagsSen. Edward M. Kennedy, of Massachusetts died late Tuesday, August 25, 2009, after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. He will be buried Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Message from FCDC Chair Mary Ann Hovis;
We have lost another good Democrat and a very special person. I have listened to the tributes to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy today. Yes, his loss represents the end of an era. Yes, he was the Lion of the Senate. Yes, he was instrumental in the election of President Obama. And, with 46 years in Congress representing the people of Massachusetts and all of us, the list goes on and on. Most of all, he understood the need to fight to hold our democracy.
He understood that it is about how we, as a country, treat our people. How we treat the rest of the world. He was a champion of health care, of minimum wage, of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He opposed the war in Iraq. He supported Stem Cell Research. He understood the hearts and needs of the American people. And for that, he was admired by his Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He was a Democrat representative of the views and beliefs of Fairfax County Democrats. Indeed, it is the end of an era. Time Magazine called him ? The brother who mattered most?. He certainly mattered the longest, and he mattered to us. We have lost him, but we can carry on his legacy – and we must.
As he said in Denver last summer:
?The Work begins anew, Hope rises again, and the Dream lives on.?
Statement from Virginia Governor Tim Kaine
?I am saddened by the news this morning of the passing of a great and gracious statesman. Senator Kennedy was an undeniable force in the halls of Congress and touched countless lives in his five decades of public service. Like his brothers before him, Senator Kennedy unfailingly kept the most vulnerable citizens closest to his heart, and I will greatly miss his compassionate voice and remarkable leadership.”
?On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I extend my condolences to his family and loved ones.?
Statement from President Barack Obama:
“Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.
For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.
I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as president from his encouragement and wisdom.
An important chapter in our history has come to an end. 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 the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.
Our hearts and prayers go out to them today ? to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.”