McCain hailed as hero, maverick at funeral

02 September, 2018, 11:28 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • The line snaked down streets even as a continuous flow of people flowed past the casket. The visitation was to continue as long as people waited in line said Rick Davis McCain's former presidential campaign manager

Biden, a Democrat who was among the fast friends the Republican senator made across the aisle, said he thought of McCain as a brother, "with a lot of family fights".

The service brought to a close two days of mourning for the six-term senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee in his home state. And McCain, whose casket exited the church to Frank Sinatra's My Way, got the last word.

McCain died last Saturday of brain cancer aged 81. A choir from the Jesuit-run Brophy College Preparatory school that McCain's sons Jack and Jimmy attended will sing "Amazing Grace" and "Arizona".

Sen. Jeff Flake offered the benediction at the service.

Former Vice President Joe Biden gives a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for Sen.

Another friend, Tommy Espinoza, president and CEO of the Raza Development Fund, called McCain "one of the greatest American heroes in our lifetime". John McCain said goodbye to the man who was an American hero in the eyes of many and synonymous with the Grand Canyon State.

The former Vice President noted that many people have asked him to explain McCain, because he admired him, but also viewed him as though "he came from another age, lived by a different code, an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive", Biden said.

Biden, 75, credited McCain with reflecting core values, sometimes frayed in the growing rancor of the nation's politics, that everyday Americans wanted to believe about themselves. "That took my son Beau's life - is brutal, relentless, unforgiving", Biden said. And he spoke directly to McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, seated in the front row: "You were his ballast".

Seven family members will serve as pallbearers during McCain's ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy: grandsons Andrew Jr. and Shep; granddaughters Caroline and Margaret; sons Andrew Sr. and Douglas; and son-in-law Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, McCain said Trump was "firing up the crazies"; Trump hit back, saying he likes people who weren't captured; and then McCain thwarted the Republicans' health care repeal effort.

McCain "served his country honorably", Pence said, adding that President Donald Trump "respected his service to the country". Twenty-four sitting USA senators, four former senators and other leaders were among those expected at Thursday's memorial. John McCain as a former prisoner of war and maverick politician enters a second day with a church service and a military salute before his casket departs his adopted state of Arizona for Washington.

McCain's body will then lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday before a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, where tributes will be delivered by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and McCain's daughter Meghan, among others. Sen.

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People holding USA flags and campaign style placards with the word "McCain" lined part of the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route that the motorcade with McCain's casket will take from the Arizona State Capitol to the church.

USA TODAY is providing extended coverage of McCain's memorial events, including Thursday's private service in Phoenix. "I'm a Democrat. And I loved John McCain".

The afternoon and evening casket viewing followed a private service Wednesday morning.

John McCain's sons, Doug, Jack and Jimmy and daughter, Sidney, shake mourners' hands outside the Arizona Capitol Wednesday night August 28, 2018.

Before the plane carrying his casket rose to the skies for one final flight to Washington, DC, the late Sen.

Arizona residents have been invited to honor McCain on Thursday by lining the route from the Capitol to the North Phoenix Baptist Church, where an honor guard will greet the hearse when it arrives.

Michael Fellars was among those awaiting the motorcade outside the church Thursday.

The onetime Navy fighter pilot endured 5-1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam after his aircraft was shot down over Hanoi.

"I've done everything that they requested and, no, I don't think I have at all", he said in response to a question about whether he had made a mistake and missed an opportunity to unite the country.

Honor guard member Valentine Costalez praised McCain for championing the military during his Senate career.

Biden, a man who has seen and felt great pain, promised those closest to McCain that there will come a day when the mention of McCain's name will bring a smile to their faces before a tear to their cheeks, and that's when they will know they will make it.

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