Trump Not Expected at Sen. McCain Funeral, But Obama and Bush Have Been Asked to Speak: Report
Sen. John McCain died at age 81 on Saturday
Sen. McCain “will be laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland,” according to his official website, which notes the funeral schedule will be announced at a later time.
Following Sen. McCain’s wishes for his funeral, widely reported earlier this year, Vice President Mike Pence — not President Donald Trump, who publicly disparaged McCain on numerous occasions — is expected to attend, according to The New York Times.
Before his death, Sen. McCain asked that former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush speak at his funeral, according to CBS News, and the Times reported that two unnamed Republicans familiar with the funeral plans indicated Obama and Bush have already been requested to offer eulogies. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden will reportedly speak at an Arizona service in Sen. McCain’s honor.
Sen. McCain will lie in state in the Arizona Capitol and Capitol Rotunda — only the 13th time a senator has done so, the Times reported.
A full dress funeral service will reportedly take place at the Washington National Cathedral before the burial.
The burial location is expected to be near his classmate and lifelong friend, Chuck Larson, the Arizona Republic reported. Sen. McCain, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, described the location in his 2018 book The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, calling it “a beautiful spot” close to where his and Larson’s “paths first crossed.”
Sen. McCain, the former POW and outspoken Republican politician nicknamed The Maverick for being unafraid to disagree with fellow members of his party, said on 60 Minutes in September 2017 that he wanted a service at the Naval Academy.
“I want, when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy,” he shared. “And we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country.'”
“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018,” his family said in a statement Saturday, according to NBC News.
VIDEO: Sen. John McCain, Maverick Politician and Decorated War Veteran, Dies at 81
In an emotional tweet, his wife Cindy McCain, 64, wrote, “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
His daughter Meghan McCain, 33, was among the people praising McCain on social media in the wake of his death. “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things,” she wrote in part. “He taught me how to live. 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.”
On Friday, his family announced that McCain, “with his usual strength of will,” decided to stop treatment for the stage-four brain cancer he had been battling since its diagnosis last summer.
“In the year since,” the McCain family said, “John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.”
In July 2017, McCain revealed that he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, just days after he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye.
McCain later revealed during the 60 Minutes interview that he asked doctors to be forthright about his health.
“Some say 3 percent, some say 14 percent. You know it’s — it’s a very poor prognosis,” he said. “So I just said, ‘I understand. Now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find and do the best we can, and at the same time celebrate with gratitude a life well lived.’ ”