His voice cracking, hands trembling, Byrd sat in his wheelchair and slowly read his tribute to Kennedy, who has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
"I want to take a moment to say how distraught and terribly shaken I am over the news of my dear friend, my dear, dear friend, Ted Kennedy," Byrd said. "Ted, Ted, my dear friend, I love you, and I miss you."
Byrd broke down even further, mentioning his late wife Erma, who died two years ago after 68 years of marriage to Byrd.
Byrd, 90, is the oldest and longest serving member of the Senate, and Kennedy, 76, is the second longest serving Democrat, and it's clear the men have an emotional and professional connection that dates back nearly five decades.
"I thank God for you, Ted," Byrd intoned.
Byrd took a long pause, and returned to Senate business, quickly asking for a quorum call.