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Ground Broken On New Kennedy Institute

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Vicki Kennedy, Paul Kirk, Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Tom Menino pose during the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Vicki Kennedy, Paul Kirk, Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Tom Menino pose during the ceremonial groundbreaking.

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Senator Scott Brown joined the Kennedy family and other public officials to break ground on the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Dorchester Friday.

The center’s site is next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey were among the guests led by Kennedy’s widow, Victoria.

Read: Keller @ Large: Institute Shouldn’t Be Partisan Shrine

“I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I have a picture on my mantle of Senator Kennedy,” said Sen. Scott Brown, who was at the ceremony. He says he keeps it there to remind of how Kennedy was able to work successfully with so many different kinds of people.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

The institute will feature a replica of the Senate chamber where the Kennedy served for 47 years until his death in 2009 from brain cancer.

Planners have raised $60 million in private donations and pledges, and $38 million in federal funding for the facility.

The groundbreaking was happening at the same time that Democrats and Republicans were trying to come up with an agreement that would keep the federal government from shutting down. Former Governor Mike Dukakis said Sen. Kennedy would have played a role in those discussions. “If he were alive today in the senate, he’d be in the thick of this, and things would be a little different, I suspect,” said Dukakis.

Sen. Kennedy’s son, Ted Kennedy, Jr., added, “That was my father’s magic. His magic was being able to find things to work on together with people. And that’s what he wanted his legacy to be remembered as in this institute.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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