Memorial service for Sen. John McCain at Washington National Cathedral

The Politics of McCain’s Passing

John McCain, in a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral, the culmination of a week of public memorials for the Arizona lawmaker, who died August 25 at age 81. McCain looked up to former President Ronald Reagan, and in his long career, he led Congress on issues of foreign policy and military affairs. Joe Lieberman and daughter Meghan McCain. It set a tone echoing her father's own passion.

"We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness — the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served", she said, her voice raising from tearful to anger. "He was a great fire who burned bright".

McCain is a decorated veteran who was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. She also took a direct jab at President Trump and his campaign motto.

"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great", she said.

"Wherever John passed throughout the world people immediately knew there was a leader in their midst", he said.

Eight years later, he won the nomination in a contest that seemed nearly predestined only to lose the election to Obama, who became America's first black president.

McCain's widow Cindy, his seven children and his 106-year-old mother Roberta McCain joined scores of members of Congress, state governors, diplomats and other dignitaries at the somber Rotunda ceremony.

McCain became the Republican nominee for president in 2008, running as the "maverick" he was known for. In McCain's concession speech at the Arizona Biltmore, he graciously spoke of the significance of Obama's win, as the first African-American to hold the presidency. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Adm. John Richardson, chatted with senators.

The remarks from former Democratic and Republican presidents who were once rivals to McCain will send an unmistakable message of unity and bipartisanship at a time when Washington is deeply divided.

Music played as the crowd filed in.

On the list provided by funeral organizers are the current president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko (por-oh-SHEHN'-koh), and the former president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili (sah-kahsh-VIH'-leh). Expected attendees also included representatives from Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany and Taiwan. John McCain's memorial service.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, a close friend of McCain's, and McCain's children Jimmy and Sidney McCain will take part in the ceremony as well.

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Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Sen.

McCain, who died last Saturday at age 81, has been lionized over the past week of extraordinary and emotional memorials and tributes, including his congressional colleagues bestowing him the rare honor of lying in state in the US Capitol on Friday.

The vehicles passed in front of the White House.

President Donald Trump may not have been invited to Sen. He began the day with a series of tweets criticizing the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal".

Meghan McCain sobbed and leaned on her sister Bridget.

"The president asked me to be here, on behalf of a grateful nation, to pay a debt of honor and respect to a man who served our country throughout his life, in uniform and in public office".

Veterans, families and signs of support filled the area around the iconic black wall at the memorial site.

Trump spent the morning sending tweets about other subjects.

"I am here before you today to say the words I have never wanted to say", McCain said about her father's death.

Her tearful, impassioned tribute opened the memorial service for John McCain at Washington National Cathedral.

Saturday's service is scheduled to start at 10 am ET. His flag-draped casket was escorted by military body bearers up the cathedral steps under gray skies.

The Arizona senator is to be buried Sunday in a private ceremony at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

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