McCain laid to rest at US Naval Academy

Family members following the casket of Senator John McCain after a service at the US Naval Academy's chapel on Sunday. The late senator, who studied at the military academy in Maryland, was later buried next to his classmate and friend, Admiral Chuck
Family members following the casket of Senator John McCain after a service at the US Naval Academy's chapel on Sunday. The late senator, who studied at the military academy in Maryland, was later buried next to his classmate and friend, Admiral Chuck Larson, a former commander of the US Pacific Command who died in 2014.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ANNAPOLIS (Maryland) • Fighter jets roared over the US Naval Academy in a final tribute to the late Senator John McCain as the Vietnam War hero and two-time presidential candidate was laid to rest at the military college in Maryland where he began his career six decades ago.

Sunday's military flypast by the Navy's Blue Angels marked the conclusion of an extraordinary five-day show of mourning for one of the most admired politicians in the United States.

Family and friends, along with the Naval Academy's class of 1958 and its current student body, bade a final farewell in a private service at the academy's chapel before Mr McCain, who died on Aug 25 at age 81, was interred in a cemetery on the academy grounds.

"I watched them lay my friend to rest today. I will miss him," Senator Jeff Flake, who represented Arizona alongside Mr McCain in Congress, wrote on Twitter.

Crowds gathered along the route of the motorcade bearing Mr McCain's casket. At one point, a large American flag hung suspended between two cranes on a bridge.

Mr McCain's burial plot was next to that of his classmate and friend, Admiral Chuck Larson, a former commander of the US Pacific Command who died in 2014, according to the McCain family.

Among those paying tribute at Sunday's private service were Mr McCain's sons Jack and Don, retired Army General David Petraeus and long-time political ally Senator Lindsey Graham.

 
 

Before the burial, Mr Graham appeared on CNN, saying: "I'm going to try to focus on the fact that I'm going to admit to what I've lost. I cannot think of anything I've done in politics of consequence, any cause I've engaged in, that John was not there, that I was not his wingman."

The late senator, for decades an often imposing presence in US defence and foreign policy, had been eulogised by former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as his daughter Meghan McCain at a Washington ceremony the day before.

Without naming President Donald Trump, Mr McCain's daughter, Mr Bush and Mr Obama all rebuked Mr Trump, who had feuded with the late senator and mocked his military service.

During both the Washington ceremony and the Annapolis burial, Mr Trump was at his private golf course in Virginia.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2018, with the headline 'McCain laid to rest at US Naval Academy'. Print Edition | Subscribe