Former refugees, war veterans pay respects to John McCain

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

Senator John McCain's daughter paid tribute to her father on Saturday with a broadside at President Donald Trump, lambasting the US leader without naming him for using "cheap rhetoric" against a man celebrated as a war hero and statesman.

With family, friends, scores of former aides and 1,000 average Arizonans in the audience, McCain was eulogized by figures of all political persuasions from former Vice President Joe Biden, to his former chief of staff and potential successor Grant Woods to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. John McCain will lie in state, guarded by DPS troopers atop the Arizona state seal, for 24 hours.

They were both "cock-eyed optimists", Biden said, and he would trust John with his life.

"John's story is the American story, grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness, the intolerance for the abuse of power", Biden said.

The McCain family said about 15,000 people came to pay their respects at the Capitol.

Biden, who got to know McCain when he served as a Navy liason for the Senate, recalled traveling around the world with the future Arizona senator in the 1970s as part of his duties on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two foreign policy giants famously tangled on some of the most pressing national security issues.

Over the course of his career, McCain earned a reputation as a maverick who put his country before politics.

"I'm Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat". McCain's casket to the Arizona State Capitol Rotunda.

He spoke emotionally of the "relentless" and "unforgiving" brain cancer that took the life of McCain as well as of Biden's own son, Beau, and of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the MA liberal, who died of the same brain cancer nine years earlier and with whom he had worked on comprehensive immigration reform.

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". Vice-President Mike Pence and congressional leaders of both parties will lay wreaths.

Rick Davis, who was McCain's campaign manager, said earlier this week of their friendship, per NBC News: "If there's a better of exemplification of debating and throwing a few punches, but at the end of the day being able to maintain a relationship with the people you are at battle with, as the model of governance John McCain adhered to, that relationship with Biden was in the category". He understood all of us, whether it was white, black, brown, Asian. "I was a young United States senator, I was elected when I was 29...the next youngest person was 14 years older". He lived with physical limitations brought on by war, I'm a professional athlete. "I ran out of bounds". He was the epitome of toughness, and I do everything I can to avoid contact.

"There are so many differences between the two of us and it didn't matter".

The skies were clear in Washington until about 10 minutes before the honor guard carried McCain's casket into the Capitol.

Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to speak at his funeral on Saturday. McCain will be buried Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

"They knew that John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America that it made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in America", Biden said. He complimented McCain for his loyalty, for his tremendous bond with his family, and his great love for America. "He would not stand by as people tried to trample it".

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


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