John McCain requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, according to CBS News. McCain died at home on Saturday of an aggressive form of brain cancer at the age of 81, after his family announced on Friday that the Senator had chosen to discontinue medical treatment.
McCain will lie in state at the Capital Rotunda and receive a full dress funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, and will also lie in state at the Arizona Capital, according to the New York Times. He will be buried in Annapolis, Md. according to a Republican official involved in the planning.
In coordination with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan , Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, I am honored to announce today that the late Senator John S. McCain will Lie in State at the United States Capitol Rotunda. pic.twitter.com/X4tZX7fXtl
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) August 26, 2018
More than 30 people have been honored by lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda, a gesture reserved for the country’s “most eminent citizens,” since the practice began in 1852 after the death of Henry Clay, the former House speaker and senator from Kentucky. Mr. McCain would be the 13th former senator to be granted the honor, according to the Architect of the Capitol. –NYT
Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential election, issued a statement after McCain’s death which reads in part: “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did …. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own.”
JUST IN: Barack and Michelle Obama on John McCain: “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own.” https://t.co/Fe3eogZ2AD pic.twitter.com/AAiNnKCo4h
— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2018
George W. Bush, to whom McCain lost the 2000 GOP nomination, said “John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”
George W. Bush on John McCain: “Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” https://t.co/Spx9rmHGoy pic.twitter.com/7NPGdKYtAM
— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2018
Under initial plans for McCain’s funeral, Vice President Mike Pence will attend, as the deceased Arizona Senator insisted that President Trump not appear, according to a May report from the Times. McCain, a harsh critic of President Trump who hand-delivered the controversial “Steele dossier” to FBI Director James Comey, returned to the Senate in July 2017 after emergency brain surgery to become the deciding vote that killed the GOP’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
A controversial Vietnam war veteran who became a fierce advocate for US foreign military intervention and regime change, McCain has been lionized by the establishment on both sides of the aisle – in no small part due to his vehement opposition to President Trump.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, said on Saturday that he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building — currently named for Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, who often opposed civil rights legislation — in honor of Mr. McCain. –NYT
The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain.
Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2018
In July, the Navy expanded the name of guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, named after his father, to include the then-dying Senator.
A lifelong war hawk and neoconservative (famously singing “bomb Iran” to warm up a crowd), McCain strongly advocated for military action in several countries, including; Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran – as well as escalations with Russia. McCain supported the Al-Qaeda-aligned Free Syrian Army, calling for arming them with heavy weapons in order to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
McCain was a strong supporter of Israel, backing President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – writing on his website after the announcement “I have long believed that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel.” The Senator also backed Israel’s multiple offensives against Palestinians – including the 2014 bombardment of Gaza.
While McCain was one of the most hawkish GOP during the 2003 Iraq War, he wrote in his 2018 memoir The Restless Wave that “The principal reason for invading Iraq, that Saddam had WMD, was wrong.”
“The war, with its cost in lives and treasure and security, can’t be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it.”
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