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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Chilean President Honors Sen. Kennedy

September 24, 2008

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet made a trip to Massachusetts to honor “one of the great and true friends of Chile,” U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Bachelet presented the Massachusetts Democrat with the Order to the Merit of Chile in a ceremony at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, The Boston Globe reported. The award is the highest honor Chile can give a foreign national.

“You were there for us when human rights were massively and systematically abused,” she said. “You not only understood, you acted accordingly. In you, we see the United States we love and esteem.”

Kennedy, diagnosed earlier this year with a brain tumor, made his first public appearance since the Democratic Convention. Aides say he is back at work, talking to other senators by video conference, and expects to return to Washington in January.

Kennedy did not take questions from reporters. After a brief prepared speech, he remarked on how much the family compound means to him, Cape Cod Today reported, talking of its “special spots.” His voice broke as he pointed to the place where his older brothers, one dead in World War II and and two victims of assassins, played sports.