Kennedy, who died of cancer Aug. 25, dedicated his career to ensuring that all Americans would have healthcare coverage, Obama said Tuesday in signing historic healthcare legislation into law at the White House.
During the signing, Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and members of Congress wore blue bracelets inscribed with the phrase "TedStrong," The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
After he died, Kennedy's wife, Vicki, gave Obama this letter urging the president to persevere:
"You will be the president who at long last signs into law the healthcare reform that is the great unfinished business of our society," Kennedy wrote. "For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life."
At Kennedy's grave in Arlington National Cemetery, his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., left a personal note Monday.
"Dad, the 'unfinished business' is done," Kennedy wrote on a card left at the grave.