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Politicians, family and friends gathered at the Washington National Cathedral Saturday to remember former presidential candidate and decorated Navy pilot Sen. John McCain. While President Donald Trump was not invited, former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama gave eulogies and hailed their once-political opponent's courage and dignity, saying that he modeled the best of American leadership.
Good evening and thank you for joining us.
It was a day devoted to the memory of United States Senator John McCain–a Republican nominee for president, a prisoner of war, a decorated navy pilot, and the son and grandson of navy admirals. America's political leadership, with the exception of the current president, gathered with the McCain family to honor the man and his service to country.
The casket bearing Senator McCain's body was carried from the capitol this morning after lying in state there yesterday.
The procession to Washington D.C.'s National Cathedral included a stop at the Vietnam veterans' memorial where the senator's widow Cindy McCain placed a wreath honoring her husband and his fellow veterans.
More than two thousand politicians, family, friends and members of the military attended the invitation-only service.
President Donald Trump was not invited and was seen leaving the White House presumably headed for his Virginia golf course during the funeral service.
The two and a half hour service was filled with music
My father is gone. John Sidney McCain III was many things.
His daughter Meghan McCain kept with the senator's reputation as a political maverick, who was not afraid to criticize members of his own republican party.
We gather 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. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.
Before his death last weekend from brain cancer, John McCain planned much of today's ceremony, inviting former presidents Bush and Obama to speak.
GEORGE W. BUSH:
Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power and could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.
We never doubted the other man's sincerity or the other patriotism or that when all was said and done, we were on the same team. So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse, can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, in phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave, but in fact is born of fear. John called us to be bigger than that. He called us to be better than that.
Senator McCain will be laid to rest tomorrow at the United States naval academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
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