Submitted By Todd on August 29th at 1:28pm
After his meeting with Vicki Kennedy at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel, POTUS spent just over two hours back at his own hotel. The motorcade pulled out at 9: 54 am and took a 12 minute drive through the wet streets of Boston towards the church in the Mission Hill neighboorhood. Scattered onlookers watched, and as the motorcade got towards the church there were increasing signs of intense security. Onlookers under umbrellas watched as the president swept past. Some held election style posters in blue and white, reading simpy "Kennedy" and underneath "Thanks." Others held up homemade placards unreadable at high speed. After the president entered the church he encountered the pool before taking his seat. He looked somber, and the First Lady beside him was wearing a black dress . The church itself is a large stone building, dominated by two towers topped off by steeples at the front. Behind is a more squat third tower, with a white hexagonal design situated over the dome of the basilica. Inside, the church, arches frame richly colorful stained glass windows. Dark marbled pillars support the arches, each of which are topped off by a level of three smaller arches then a further storey of stained glass windows under the ceiling. The walls are painted white, inlaid with intricate gold leaf trim. The roof is also white with curved white beams and the inner dome of the basilica towers over the altar area, The packed pews beneath are of a dark chestnut color. The pool is stationed in the back two pews on the left side, with a limited view of the action. It is already very hot inside. Dignitaries spotted at the back of the church include Sen Kerry and Congressman Markey. Strains of musicians playing a Mozart Quintet are wafting to the back of the church over the hubbub of conversation. Behind the altar stands a soaring fresco of white stonework, featuring several crosses on the walls moulded from gold. The shrine of Our Lady of Perptual Help and picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus, is not visible.And more...
The front of the order of service features a photo of Senator Kennedy looking relaxed, healthy and smiling in a blue open necked shirt and blue sweater. Behind him is a moored sailboat in coastal waters. Underneath are the words "Edward Moore Kennedy 1932-2009 and today's date. Inside the front leaf is a quote from the Senator. "For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail towards the shores of liberty and justice for all. "There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future that we make." An extended group of the Kennedy clan processed into the church ahead of the casket's arrival, including Sargent Shriver and Joe Kennedy. The rain beat down in torrents on the roof of Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, clearly audible over the piping of the organ as the congregation sat quietly awaiting the arrival of the casket. Everybody stood as the casket was carried into the church by an honor guard of military officers in dress uniform, followed at a good pace by Mrs Kennedy. Jean Kennedy Smith appeared to be beside her, but it was not possible to confirm from our restricted view. Behind came pallbearers and honorary pall bearers