Large, loud crowd awaited Kennedy family at the Capitol

Countless spectators packed Constitution Avenue and Capitol Hill this evening to greet the motorcade carrying the casket of the late-Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and his family.

The motorcade, despite arriving nearly two hours later than expected, met the sustained applause of aides and lawmakers, many of whom had previously worked with Kennedy and knew him personally.

"Here we are to briefly pray with you, offer our sympathy, and to thank you," said Daniel Coughlin, the House Chaplin, to Kennedy's family. "Thank you for sharing the senator and so much of his life with us."

Following a solo rendition of "America the Beautiful," Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.) stepped to the microphone to thank those in attendance for their support.

"He couldn't have done it without all of the people he worked with. He knew the value of good staff and that's why he was so successful," he said. "I hope ... the many hours you put into legislating and policy making gives you some sense of satisfaction... because that's the legacy he'd want you to feel good about. Thank you on behalf of my family for being here."

As the crowd erupted into its own rendition of "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful," the motorcade departed for Arlington National Cemetery, where Kennedy will be buried during a private ceremony. Onlookers shouted "thank you" to the hearse as it passed them.

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