Congress Honors John McCain at Capitol Rotunda Ceremony

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John McCain Services Begin With Private Ceremony in Arizona

At McCain's request, former Presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican, are speaking about the six-term senator Saturday at Washington National Cathedral.

The remains of the late Senator John McCain are lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda Friday as Americans continue to mourn the loss of the long-time legislator and war hero.

Obama and Bush, a Democrat and a Republican, were joined by a who's who of US political leaders, Vietnam-era officials and dignitaries paying tribute to the statesman and former prisoner of war, who died August 25 of brain cancer, days shy of his 82nd birthday.

On the way, the procession will pause at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where Cindy McCain will lay a ceremonial wreath honoring those who died during the Vietnam War.

On Friday, McCain came home to the Senate one last time, becoming only the 31st person to lie in state in the US Capitol, a rare honor reserved for government officials and military officers.

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Biden noted that McCain died of the same kind of cancer that killed his son Joseph "Beau" Biden III and the two politicians' mutual friend Sen.

Throughout US history, only 32 people have been "lain in state" or "lain in honor" under the soaring Capitol Rotunda, including 11 presidents and unknown soldiers from World War I to Vietnam.

McCain was a frequent critic of the president, particularly his handling of Russian Federation and penchant for embracing raw nationalism.

At the time of McCain's passing, Obama, who triumphed over him in the 2008 Presidential Election, said that despite their differences, McCain and he shared a "fidelity to something higher - the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed".

On Wednesday, a private service was held at the Arizona Capitol for family and friends. "We go back a long way".

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Larry Fitzgerald, a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, described his perhaps unlikely friendship with McCain.

Some waited more than two hours to pay their respects to Sen.

Family members, former presidents and other dignitaries will pay tribute to the late Sen.

Inside the rotunda, McCain's body was laid on a catafalque - or wooden platform - first constructed to support the coffin of slain President Abraham Lincoln. John McCain, who passed away Saturday at 81.

On Saturday, McCain will be carried by Armed Forces Body Bearers from the U.S. Capitol and moved by motorcade to Washington National Cathedral.

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Similar themes likely will be addressed when Pence, Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deliver remarks in the Rotunda. He made it clear to family and friends that he wanted Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, Bush and Obama to speak - but that Trump was not welcome.

They were all wearing yellow "Vietnamese Refugee Community" T-shirts with the words "We salute our hero Senator John McCain". Amid personal memories, there were references to current political divisions - and to the presidency of Trump, which deeply troubled the senator.

The day saw a series of leaders eulogizing the veteran Arizona senator, often addressing McCain's children.

Vice President Mike Pence will address the gathering instead, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor John Bolton in representing the administration.

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