KTAR.com Friends, dignitaries eulogize Sen. John McCain at Phoenix service

Ruben Hill
August 31, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden led the tributes to the late Senator John McCain at his memorial service in Arizona, honoring his "brother" with a handsome eulogy.

Biden's remarks were similar to a spirited McCain speech on the Senate floor last summer, in which the Arizona Republican begged his colleagues to restore to the chamber a spirit of compromise that had helped forge national greatness.

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, gives a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for Sen.

The service for the statesman, former prisoner of war and two-time presidential candidate unfolded at North Baptist Church after a motorcade bearing his body made its way from the state Capitol past Arizonans waving American flags and campaign-style McCain signs.

McCain, who survived five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, served three decades in Congress and went on to become the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 2008, died on Saturday at the age of 81.

"John McCain believed in America", Kyl said.

"Believe always in the promise and greatness in America because nothing is inevitable here", Biden said, quoting McCain.

At North Phoenix Baptist church, an estimated 3,500 mourners, including family, friends, 24 Senate colleagues, Arizona athletes and other dignitaries celebrated the life of a man who was a Vietnam prisoner of war, a United States representative, a six-term senator and a two-time presidential candidate.

Fitzgerald was asked by Cindy McCain, wife of the late senator, a couple of months ago to speak at the service.

McCain's body was expected to arrive at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, around 7:30 p.m. They traveled the world together, "and we would sit on that plane, and while everyone else was asleep, just talk". "We both lamented, watching it change".

"This great friendship transcended any great political differences we had", he continued.

"He's done so much for us", said Costalez, who stood watch earlier this week while McCain's body was at a funeral home. Biden lost his first wife and their young daughter in a auto crash in 1972, just a month after winning his first Senate race in Delaware. "After times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding". Your sacrifice enriched our lives.

Ray Riordan, an 87-year-old Navy veteran who fought in the Korean War, came from Payson, Arizona.

While talking about glioblastoma - the brain disease that took McCain, as well as Senator Ted Kennedy and Biden's own son, Beau - Biden delivered one of the most emotional parts of his speech, addressing the family and close friends who were feeling the loss of McCain most severely. While others will miss his passion and stubborness, you're going to miss that your hand on your shoulder. "A life lived embodying those truths casts a long, long shadow". But you know you're going to make it when the image of your dad, your husband, your friend, crosses your mind, and a smile comes to your lip before a tear to your eye. "His love and his care, ever-present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman - and he showed me what it is to be a man".

"As a young man, he'd come up to my house, he'd come up to Wilmington", Biden told the congregation, speaking of his time as a senator from Delaware.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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