Washington went all-out for John McCain's funeral — see how the ceremony unfolded

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesThe casket is led out following the funeral service for U.S. Sen. John McCain at the National Cathedral on September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. The late senator died August 25 at the age of 81 after a long battle with brain cancer. McCain will be buried at his final resting place at the U.S. Naval Academy.

One week after the late Sen. John McCain died from brain cancer, more than 2,000 prominent business, media, military, and political figures gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial ceremony.

McCain’s casket arrived in Washington, DC Thursday evening after a ceremony in the Rotunda of the Arizona statehouse to receive the honour of laying in state in the Capitol Rotunda. McCain’s casket was carried by joint service members to a motorcade, which stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on its way to the cathedral.

After five days of formal tributes and ceremonies, Saturday’s service was a chance for politicians and citizens alike to celebrate the six-term senator with eulogies and hymns in the heart of the Nation’s Capital.

Here’s how the service unfolded:


The late Sen. John McCain was the 31st person to lie-in-state in the Capitol Rotunda Friday ahead of his memorial service.

Source: Business Insider


Joint service members of a military casket team led a processional down the Capitol steps to a motorcade that escorted the McCain family to the memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral.


McCain’s family watched as the procession brought the casket to the motorcade.


Navy sailors were just a few of the onlookers who lined the closed roads in downtown Washington, DC, as the car carrying McCain’s casket and its police escort left the Capitol.


The procession stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain’s wife Cindy laid a wreath, alongside President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. McCain served as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War and was a prisoner of war for more than five years.


The servicemen performed another procession with McCain’s casket to enter the Washington National Cathedral, an American landmark where Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson are buried.

Source: National Parks Service


McCain is survived by his 106-year-old mother Roberta, who was also front and center at the Capitol ceremony.

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The service was carefully planned by McCain’s family, and included a US Navy band to play McCain’s favourite hymns, including “God Bless America” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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There were 2,500 guests invited to the memorial service, a diverse crowd of high-profile names from several industries including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, comedian Jay Leno, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.


Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former vice presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore were in the front row of the crowd.

Source: The Guardian


McCain notably invited Obama and Bush, his two rivals in the 2000 and 2008 presidential elections, to speak at the service.


McCain’s daughter Meghan teared up as she delivered the first remarks at the service, which she said marked “the passing of American greatness.”

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During his eulogy, Bush celebrated McCain’s courage and how he “detested the abuse of power” and “swaggering despots.” “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder — we are better than this, America is better than this,” Bush said.

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In Obama’s eulogy, he urged Americans to follow McCain’s example and ignore “mean and petty” politics he said were “born out of fear.”

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesFormer President Barack Obama.

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President Donald Trump was notably absent from the ceremony, after he was reportedly not invited at McCain’s request.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesCindy, James, Meghan McCain, and Bridget McCain look on as the late Sen. McCain’s casket is loaded into a Hearse following his funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.

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McCain will be buried next to his best friend, Adm. Chuck Larson at his alma mater, the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday.

Source: Business Insider

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