Newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry teared up while giving his farewell speech to the Senate.
Kerry paused to take a sip of water and recalled those who stood in the chamber before him:
"Standing here at this desk, that once belonged [...] to President Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, I can't help but be reminded that even our nation's greatest leaders and all the rest of us are merely temporary workers. I'm reminded that this chamber is a living museum, a lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment [...]"
During his confirmation hearing last week, Kerry delivered an emotional telling of his late father's work as a Foreign Service officer.
Kerry also reacted diplomatically to a protester who interrupted the Jan. 24 hearing by citing his first arrival in Washington, stating that he was a "part of the group of people who came here to have their voices heard" over the Vietnam War.
Kerry choked up a second time in his farewell address to the Senate Wednesday, again recalling that moment in 1971 when "President Nixon tried to kick us off the Mall" where he and others had gathered to protest the Vietnam War.
Kerry was confirmed as the secretary of state on Tuesday, succeeding Hillary Clinton. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) appointed William "Mo" Cowan to serve in Kerry's stead in the U.S. Senate until a special election is held on June 25.