Saturday, January 22, 2011

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) — Notable figures including Caroline Kennedy arrived Saturday for the funeral Mass honoring R. Sargent Shriver, which was being held at the Shrivers' church near the family's home outside Washington.

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of John F. Kennedy, arrived with her children and other members of the Kennedy family as people mingled in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Md. About 800 invited guests were expected to fill the church's sanctuary, with space for about 140 people in an overflow area.

Glen Hansard, frontman for the Irish group The Frames, sang to piano and violin music as guests entered the church.

Shriver — the man known as "Sarge" who married Eunice Kennedy Shriver and was the brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy — was to be honored by several speakers. His daughter, former NBC reporter Maria Shriver, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton were among those set to speak.

Sargent Shriver died Tuesday at age 95. He helped John F. Kennedy fulfill a campaign promise by starting the Peace Corps, which Shriver built into a lasting international institution. He later led President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, part of the president's vision for his "Great Society."

At a wake held Friday, former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern called Shriver "the kindest, most cheerful, most optimistic person I knew in 50 years of public life." McGovern ran for president in 1972, with Shriver as his running mate.

"It's remarkable that those virtues could all be combined in one person. I don't ever recall seeing him down in the dumps. He must have had days like that, but nobody ever saw them if he did," McGovern said.

First lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey also were expected to attend. Others on the guest list include Muhammad Ali, Clint Eastwood and congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

U2 frontman Bono, Wyclef Jean and Vanessa Williams were among those scheduled to sing.


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