Family mourns Sen. John McCain

Family mourns Sen. John McCain

Biden, a Democrat who was among the fast friends the Republican senator made across the aisle, said he thought of McCain as a brother, "with a lot of family fights".

"Many people might wonder what a young, African American kid from Minnesota and a highly decorated Vietnam War hero-turned-United States Senator might have in common", Fitzgerald said, via the Cardinals' official website.

Former Vice President Joe Biden wipes away a tear while giving a tribute during a memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for U.S. Sen.

"On behalf of a grateful nation, we will ever remember that John McCain served his country and John McCain served his country honorably'".

Earlier, the hearse bearing McCain's coffin was greeted outside the statehouse by National Guard troops, military veterans, law enforcement officers and firefighters, all in dress uniform and standing at attention as they saluted. McCain died Saturday of brain cancer at age 81.

Mr McCain's longtime chief of staff, Grant Woods spoke about the senator's "terribly bad driving" and his sense of humour - which drew a chuckle.

The church service brought to a close two days of mourning for McCain in his home state.

McCain will lie in state again at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, followed by a funeral Saturday at Washington's National Cathedral and a burial on Sunday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said he had been with McCain across the world and he had better instincts on when to assert us power than anyone else he knew.

No speakers uttered Donald Trump's name but Biden made a possible veiled reference to the president when he talked about McCain's character and his opposition to those who "lacked the basic values of decency and respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself".

"You know, I don't understand why after all the dedication, all the sacrifices I've made why is it me?' He never said that", Fitzgerald said.

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McCain, who rose to the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy, was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission in 1967.

A former McCain staffer, Fose arranged the small memorial that would line a stretch of the motorcade route from the Arizona capitol where McCain would lie in state all Wednesday.

After the service, McCain's wife of 38 years, Cindy, bowed over the casket, clasped her hands and appeared to pray there.

At the end of the almost 90-minute ceremony, McCain's casket was wheeled out of the church to "My Way", in tribute to a politician known for following his own path based on his personal principles.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, McCain said Trump was "firing up the crazies"; Trump hit back, saying he likes people who weren't captured; and then McCain thwarted the Republicans' health care repeal effort.

USA TODAY is providing extended coverage of McCain's memorial events, including Thursday's private service in Phoenix. "I trusted John with my life".

He says McCain "represented all of Arizona, not just Latinos like me".

"But, I know something else, unfortunately, from experience, that there's nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now". The ceremony was attended by more than two-dozen of the Arizona Republican's current and former Senate colleagues as well as former Vice President Dan Quayle.

"He celebrated differences. He embraced humanity, championed what was true and just, and saw people for who they were", said Larry Fitzgerald, NFL player and friend of McCain.

Cindy McCain, the senator's children and family waited outside of the capitol plaza as members of the Arizona National Guard carried Senator John McCain's casket out.

Michael Fellars stood on a roadway outside of North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday waiting to see the funeral procession.

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