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A Salute to Senator Kennedy
08:25 PM EDT
Andrew Miga, Associated Press - March 9, 2009
President Barack Obama led a Kennedy Center crowd in a performance of "Happy Birthday," capping a star-studded musical birthday tribute to ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.The Massachusetts Democrat was honored at the Kennedy Center at an event Sunday night hosted by comedian Bill Cosby. Actresses Lauren Bacall and Bernadette Peters, singer James Taylor and conductor John Williams were among those who performed.
Toward the end of the gala, Cosby introduced Obama to loud applause from the performers and the audience. The president strode to the center of the stage and then conducted the performers in the birthday tune. Kennedy stood and delivered a thumbs-up from his balcony, where he was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.
The president later met Kennedy in his box as the performers sang "The Best Is Yet to Come."
Caroline Kennedy presented her uncle with her family's Profile in Courage Award, paying tribute to his efforts to reform the U.S. health care system. When reform becomes a reality, Caroline Kennedy said: "We will all have you to thank. ... We love you, Uncle Teddy."