John McCain remembered: Obama, Bush give eulogies at Washington funeral
Published: September 1, 2018 8:15 AM EDT
Updated: September 1, 2018 4:29 PM EDT
A memorial service for Sen. John McCain is taking place in Washington Saturday. Former President George W. Bush and former President Barack Obama are giving eulogies at the service at the Washington National Cathedral. Both men defeated McCain in his two campaigns to become president, in 2000 and 2008. President Trump is not attending.
The service begins at 10:00 a.m. ET.
The “maverick” senator was previously honored at a memorial ceremony in his home state of Arizona Thursday, where he was eulogized by friend and luminaries such as former Vice President Joe Biden. Thousands of citizens paid respect as he lay in state at the Arizona Capitol.
Then on Friday, McCain lay in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where top elected officials paid their respects. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence all gave remarks honoring McCain at a morning ceremony. The public had the opportunity to pay respects on Friday afternoon.
McCain will be buried with military honors following a private service at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.
McCain family honors veterans at the Vietnam Memorial
On its way from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington National Cathedral, the motorcade carrying McCain’s remains is stopping at the Vietnam Memorial. McCain’s wife, Cindy, is placing a wreath at the memorial in honor of all who died in the Vietnam War.
McCain served as a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, and was captured and held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi for five and a half years during the conflict.
Tributes from former rivals
McCain’s funeral is in many ways a tribute to the senator’s belief in the power of bipartisanship.
McCain is being eulogized by two of his former rivals for the presidency, Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush.
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent, was Vice President Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 campaign. McCain considered Lieberman as a running mate himself in 2008 before settling on Sarah Palin, who is not attending the service.
Several Democrats who served with McCain in the Senate also have roles in the ceremony, including Biden, Whitehouse, Feingold and Hart.
McCain’s funeral, in its very composition, is a call for unity in American politics over common values.
Speakers at service include family, top political officials
Several members of McCain’s family are speaking at his funeral in Washington. The program includes McCain’s daughter, Meghan, giving a tribute to her father, his son Jimmy reading a poem, and another daughter, Sidney, reading a Bible passage.
Other speakers include prominent public officials such as Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, as well as former Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. McCain’s longtime friend in the Senate, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, is reading a Bible passage.
Pallbearers include Biden, actor Warren Beatty, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and former Senators Russ Feingold, Phil Gramm and Gary Hart. Another pallbearer is Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza.
Some interpret the inclusion of Kara-Murza as a posthumous message from McCain to Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump. McCain criticized Mr. Trump for being too friendly with Putin amid the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.