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McCain's casket arrives at US Capitol Rotunda

02 September, 2018, 10:54 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Thousands pay their respects to US Sen. John McCain | New Hampshire

The public viewing of his casket, after a brief ceremony for family and dignitaries led by Gov. Doug Ducey, came on the first of five days of memorial tributes planned for McCain, who died on Saturday from brain cancer. The school choir from Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix - where McCain's sons Jack and Jimmy attended - performed a rendition of "Amazing Grace" early in the memorial.

"John McCain believed in our constitution", said Grant Woods, his longtime campaign manager. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call) Members of the different services were bearers of McCain's casket into the Capitol.

"We gather here today to honor an American Patriot who served a cause greater than himself".

Meanwhile, the church's senior pastor, Noe Garcia, said Mr McCain was "a true American hero".

"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. But he believe so much that, in the end, when it's all said and done, that this Republican and Democrat thing's not that important. Drawing on the tragedies suffered in his own life - the deaths of his first wife and daughter in a auto accident in 1972, and his son Beau from cancer in 2015 - Biden offered consolation to McCain's family, calling his absence "all-consuming". He spoke about the great loss he's experienced in his life - the death of his first wife and daughter in a auto accident, and the recent death of his son, Beau.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. - who became friends with McCain after his National Football League career began, and who recently wrote a piece for Sports Illustrated on his admiration for McCain's service in Vietnam - is also slated to give remarks.

McCain's family asked before his death that President Donald Trump, who the senator had long feuded with, not attend his funeral services.

Twenty-four sitting USA senators, four former senators and other leaders were among those expected at Thursday's memorial.

On Saturday morning, there will be a private service for McCain at the Washington National Cathedral before he is buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis on Sunday.

Part of the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route was lined with US flags and campaign-style placards that simply read "McCain".

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Obama, who triumphed over McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election, said that despite their differences, McCain and he shared a "fidelity to something higher - the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed".

One man shouted, "We love you!" McCain's widow pressed her face against her husband's coffin, and daughter Meghan McCain erupted in sobs.

On Thursday, McCain's body was flown to Washington, where he will lie in state at the US Capitol on Friday.

Following a church service and a military salute, his casket will depart for the nation's capital where his body will lie in state at the US Capitol Rotunda.

Michael Fellars stood on a roadway outside of North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday waiting to see the funeral procession.

He said McCain (R-Ariz) inspired him to visit Vietnam and retrace the steps of the retired Navy pilot's gruesome imprisonment.

"He was about the only politician that I have ever known who cared for the people in his country, and he tried his level best to make it a better place in which to live, " Fellars said.

During his last term in the Senate, in which he has served since 1987, McCain directly challenged the Trump administration and his fellow Republicans on many issues, becoming the deciding vote against the repeal of Obamacare previous year.

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