Here's A Roundup Of Those Who Attended Senator John McCain's Funeral And Gave Their Tributes
Republican Senator and military veteran John McCain passed away on Friday, August 25 at the age of 81. The octogenarian who succumbed to an advanced form of brain cancer leaves behind his 106-year-old mother Roberta, wife Cindy, children and grandchildren, as well as a body of work that will continue to shape and guide American politics for years to come.
His funeral was held at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and his casket laid down in state at the Capitol Rotunda, making the Senator only the 31st person in American history to receive the posthumous honor. He was buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on September 2, right next to his longtime friend Chuck Larson.
The Panama-born senator—who was known to be direct in words, unbending in his convictions, and steady in the face of opposition—was honored by friends, family, and fellow politicians at his solemn service. With many of his mourners eulogizing his integrity and compassion as a lawmaker and warmth and wisdom as a loved one, one thing was made clear: Senator John McCain was a light and strength to those he knew, and will never be forgotten.
Here's what they had to say about the respected statesman:
Two-term president Barack Obama ran against Senator McCain in the 2008 US presidential elections. Despite their seemingly opposing philosophies and personal differences, the senator actually requested that the politicians he had gone face-to-face with in his career as a public servant deliver eulogies for him. Barack Obama was one of them.
George W. Bush
The 43rd president of the United States recalled, "In recent years, we sometimes talked of that intense period like football players remembering a big game. In the process, rivalry melted away. In the end, I got to enjoy one of life’s great gifts: the friendship of John McCain. And I will miss him." George W. Bush's kind words were touching and heartfelt, considering his history with the senator as a political rival.
Meghan, a writer, TV host and possibly the senator's most visible and vocal child, delivered a pointed eulogy that took jabs at the current administration. Proudly painting herself to be the living legacy of her father, Meghan made it a point to highlight the values and ideals her father passed down to her, and to all of Americans, at that.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
Despite the senator's open disproval towards President Donald Trump and his interpretation of Republican leadership, his family invited Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. (It was reported that all guests present at the funeral were invited by the McCain family). However, the current US President and his other family members were absent.
Staunch environmental activist and former vice president Al Gore might be a Democrat, but his political views didn't stop him from acknowledging the good that the senator left behind in his wake.
My statement on the passing of Senator John McCain. pic.twitter.com/ZuM18FUo31— Al Gore (@algore) August 26, 2018
Late night host Jay Leno kept things formal and solemn and saved the antics for another time. Despite making Senator McCain a constant joke in his monologues and political commentary, the comedian was photographed looking still and somber at the funeral. (Other Hollywood celebrities who attended were Annette Benning and her husband Warren Beatty).
The singer took the time to share her thoughts on the senator's passing.
Farewell to John McCain. A great statesman who lived his life with dignity and grace and carried the values of our great nation— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) September 1, 2018
Opera singer Renee Fleming might not have stood at the podium to deliver a personal eulogy, but her rendition of Danny Boy was enough to communicate her deep respect and admiration for the man she was singing it for.
2016 US presidential contender Hillary Clinton attended the service despite knowing that the daughter of the man whose memory she was honoring has always carried a deep distrust and dislike towards her. Rising above their differences during a time like this, she was accompanied by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and the couple sat together in silence and paid their respects.
Describing his relationship with the senator as brotherly, he tearfully described that they had worked through many a conflict in the past but remained civil, and even friendly, with each other. The memory of his time with Senator McCain quickly brought tears to this ex-vice president's eyes.
Former secretary of state John Kerry was also one of the dignitaries and US officials present at the ceremony. Though he did not speak at the funeral, he offered his thoughts and memories about the senator on social media.
My statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/iCT2n2VpRZ— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) August 26, 2018
Former Connecticut senatoe Joe Lieberman took his time and recounted many of his fondest memories with his old pal over the course of 20 minutes. An unexpected sweetness and fondness can be derived from this senator's eulogy.
On the day of her husband's funeral, Cindy McCain also paid a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. There, she laid a wreath in honor of Senator McCain who survived his time as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973.
Photos from @cnn @senjohnmccain