Memorial services for John McCain to continue in DC this weekend

31 August, 2018, 18:49 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • John Mc Cain embraces his mother Roberta following his acceptance speech at the 2008 RNC Convention

McCain, who died at 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Friday, where his family, colleagues, staff and the public will honor his life and service. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to speak.

Nearly a quarter of McCain's fellow senators, Democrats and Republicans, traveled to Arizona to remember him during a carefully executed program that began at the Arizona State Capitol, continued to the Baptist church where he worshiped and ended at the Phoenix airport, where hundreds of Arizona National Guardsmen gave him one final salute. It will lie on top of the catafalque, the platform constructed for President Abraham Lincoln's casket, that has been used for all of the ceremonies in the rotunda since his memorial service. "He was the epitome of toughness, and I do everything I can to avoid contact", Fitzgerald said, later adding: "While from very different worlds, we developed a meaningful friendship".

Sitting American presidents traditionally "serve as a source of solace and comfort" for the country at times of loss and tragedy, Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer said.

The Trump-McCain relationship left little room for that.

McCain clashed openly with Trump, who mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War.

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McCain's casket arrived at the Capitol Friday as his family watched from the steps. Trump received five deferments that got him out of military service. Despite McCain's health deteriorating over the last many months, Trump continued to bring him up in campaign rallies and didn't attempt to reconcile with him even in his last days, drawing scorn even from his own party. It was, McCain said, "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". Two White House officials said McCain's family had asked that Trump not attend the funeral services.

Mr Raymond Gonzales, 70, a veteran of Vietnam and the first Gulf War in 1990, told The Straits Times that Mr McCain had helped him recover after Vietnam. They'd talk about family, politics and worldwide relations.

McCain was involved in planning the events around his funeral.

A service at the Washington National Cathedral will be held on Saturday before he is buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.

Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a stirring eulogy of his friend at a memorial ceremony in Phoenix, describing Arizona's adopted son as a "brother" and a "giant" whose belief in the soul of America helped give citizens their confidence and optimism. Now a little-known facet of the six-term senator's character is coming to the fore - one that was rarely, if ever, on public display during his more than 35-year tenure in Congress: his faith.

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