The tributes ranged from the priest saying mid-day mass at a downtown Boston church where Kennedy worshipped to New England's high profile Super Bowl coach Bill Belichick discussing his dismay - and included everyone in between.
"He was for the rights of everybody. He was for the rights of disabled. He was for women's rights. He was for the civil rights movement," mourner Celestine Cox said on CBS station WBZ.
The people of Boston are mourning deeply. As much as Sen. Kennedy was a player on the world's stage, in Boston he was "Teddy," and Teddy belonged to them.
Reporter and Boston native Marty Nolan covered Kennedy for 40 years, and wrote today's obituary in the Boston Globe.
"He was full of charm and he enjoyed the odd drop after hours and so do I," Nolan said. "He could sing an Irish song like a Clancy brother put together. He could do that and he'd do it at an AFL-CIO meeting as well as he'd do it in a saloon somewhere."
When Kennedy threw out the first pitch of the Red Sox season in April, Boston's mayor Tom Menino was there.
"There's a big hole in our lives right now because we always had Sen. Kennedy. To depend on. To help us," Menino said.
That's why Bostonians have been steaming into the JFK museum all day to sign the condolence book. Mary Summers was first in line this morning - two hours before the doors opened.
"I think for the first time I'm taking time out for Teddy after he's taken so many times out for us," she said.
The funeral will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. When his daughter Kara was fighting lung cancer, Ted Kennedy used pray there every day. It became a special place of hope and optimism for him.
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