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Arlington Prepares To Lay Kennedy To Rest

GUY RAZ, host:

After the service in Boston, Senator Kennedy's body was flown here to Washington, D.C., for burial across the Potomac River, near his brothers at Arlington National Cemetery. NPR's Brian Naylor is at the cemetery. Brian, what are you seeing at Arlington?

BRIAN NAYLOR: Guy, I'm standing just above the gravesite where Senator Kennedy's casket has been carried by a military honor guard. And there is a ceremony going on right now below me. It's gotten very dark here, and I heard from the television cameras, the newspaper photographers - they were having trouble getting a good sight of the ceremony. It's on the side of a hill, right next to his brother Robert's grave and just a stone's throw from his older brother John F. Kennedy's grave. And it's a very small service at the moment. The gravesite is going to marked with a simple, wooden cross and a marble footstone and will say simply, Edward Moore Kennedy.

RAZ: Brian, tomorrow the general public will be able to visit the gravesite, is that right?

NAYLOR: That's right. The cemetery officials say they'll be opening up at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. In the meantime, they will have erected the cross, and they will have erected the footstone. It's possible there might be a more elaborate memorial sometime down the road but for now, that's what they're going with.

We should also say we expect to hear a military salute of three volleys, and an Army sergeant will be playing "Taps" shortly. And it's a very quiet, peaceful, dark evening here. And it's quite moving in its simplicity.

RAZ: And anyone who's been to the graves of his brothers Robert and John will know how powerful and somber that site really is, Brian.

NAYLOR: It's a lovely site, Guy. It sits overlooking all of Washington. You can see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol in the distance. It's said that you can see the eternal flame from the Capitol itself. It's really a very peaceful - and a site that is suited to a statesman.

RAZ: That's NPR's Brian Naylor, graveside at Arlington National Cemetery, where Senator Edward Kennedy will be laid to rest in a few moments. Brian, thank you.

Thanks, Guy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

RAZ: That's NPR's Brian Naylor. He's graveside at Arlington National Cemetery where Senator Kennedy will be laid to rest soon.

Brian, thanks so much.

NAYLOR: Thank you, Guy.

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NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Brian Naylor
NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.
Guy Raz
Guy Raz is an independent producer who has been described by the New York Times as "one of the most popular podcasters in history."
Allison Keyes
Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.