U.S. Senator EDWARD KENNEDY was laid to rest on Saturday (29Aug09) after his life was celebrated in a private ceremony led by BARACK OBAMA.

The president delivered a moving eulogy for the last of the Kennedy brothers, who died of brain cancer on Tuesday (25Aug09), in a funeral attended by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Boston, Massachusetts’ Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica.

Obama described his late friend as a “kind and tender hero” as well as “a champion to those who had none, the soul of the Democratic party and the Lion of the Senate.

“Celebrity mourners included Lauren Bacall, Jack Nicholson, Tony Bennett, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma who accompanied the Tanglewood Festival Choir and opera tenor Placido Domingo as they sang while guests received communion.

Kennedy’s coffin was later flown to Washington, D.C., and then driven to Virginia, where he was buried beside his assassinated brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery.