Awash in pink, yellow and white roses, three generations of Kennedys dedicated the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and honored the woman who started a political dynasty.
In a ceremony marked by emotional tributes and a rousing rendition of "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" -- led from the stage by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy -- a crowd of about 1,000 paid homage to the matriarch who gave the country a president, two U.S. senators, and a family steeped in public service.
"We're very, very touched that so many have come here to honor mother now and to make this day such a memorable one," said Kennedy, D-Mass.
Pope John Paul II sent a papal blessing to the Irish Catholic clan. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino hailed the planned 27-acre greenway of parks, walkways and open space as a "small way of giving back to the Kennedys."
Still, it was a family event: Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith shared the stage with their younger brother, "Teddy." In the audience were other familiar Kennedy faces -- Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, daughter of President John F. Kennedy; California first lady Maria Shriver; and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.