Washington elite among thousands honouring McCain

Mrs Cindy McCain flanked by her children Meghan McCain and Jimmy McCain, and other family members outside the cathedral.
The memorial service for Senator John McCain yesterday was held at the Washington National Cathedral. PHOTO: NYTIMES
The memorial service for Senator John McCain yesterday was held at the Washington National Cathedral.
Mrs Cindy McCain flanked by her children Meghan McCain and Jimmy McCain, and other family members outside the cathedral.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON • The United States bade a final, public farewell to Arizona Senator John McCain with a funeral yesterday at Washington National Cathedral which featured eulogies from the two men who delivered his biggest political defeats, former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Mr McCain's daughter Meghan delivered a powerful, tearful eulogy, focused on her pride of her father, but peppered with seeming jabs at President Donald Trump.

"We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing," she said.

"Not the cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege."

"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again. Because America was always great."

Former president Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were among the thousands of relatives, friends, members of Congress and staff, as well as other American and world leaders on hand to remember and mourn the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, irascible lawmaker and courageous POW.

Mr Trump was not in attendance. The animosity between Mr McCain and Mr Trump had been mutual, and they clashed often. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump - who received draft deferments during the Vietnam War - disparaged Mr McCain's prisoner of war status.

Mr McCain will be laid to rest today at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline 'Washington elite among thousands honouring McCain'. Print Edition | Subscribe