Staff to pay final respects to Kennedy

Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) motorcade is scheduled to make a final stop outside the Senate on Saturday afternoon before Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his brothers.

The 4:30 p.m. stop is intended to allow the late senator’s colleagues and staff to offer their respects to Kennedy, who died late Tuesday of brain cancer.

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Kennedy’s funeral is Saturday in Boston.

His staff, past and present, have been invited to gather on the Senate steps. Members of the public are also invited to gather on the east front lawn of the Senate at 4 p.m.

“Sen. Kennedy served 47 years in the United States Senate, and loved each and every day he spent there, especially the people who are its heart and soul,” the family said in a released statement issuing the invitation.

Kennedy’s body is scheduled to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland at 3 p.m. on Saturday after a 90-minute flight from Hanscom Air Force Base, outside of Boston.

Thousands lined the streets of Boston on Thursday to catch a glimpse of the Kennedy motorcade, and thousands more lined up outside the John F. Kennedy Library to view his casket. By 10 p.m., 21,000 people had come to stand in line, and hours for the visitation were extended until 2 a.m., according to a statement released by Kennedy’s family.

On Saturday, Kennedy’s body is scheduled to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base at 3 p.m. The motorcade will depart Andrews at 4 p.m. and will travel to the east plaza of the U.S. Capitol building.

The motorcade will enter through the Independence Avenue entrance and proceed to the Senate chamber steps.

After a brief stop, the motorcade will proceed to Arlington National Cemetery via Constitution Avenue. The route will bring Kennedy past the White House and the Washington and Lincoln memorials.

Kennedy’s burial service at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Memorial Bridge, will be closed to the public.

Kennedy’s body will lie in repose today, with visitation ending at 3 p.m. A celebratory memorial service will be held Friday night, with speeches by Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will also deliver remarks, and a Ken Burns-produced video tribute will be aired.