McCain’s cas­ket ar­rives at Ari­zona Capi­tol

McCain has been a po­lit­i­cal fix­ture for Ari­zona res­i­dents

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - MELISSA DANIELS

PHOENIX — A black hearse car­ry­ing the flag-draped cas­ket of U.S. Sen. John McCain ar­rived at Ari­zona’s Capi­tol on Wed­nes­day for the first of two ser­vices be­fore he is taken for the last time from the state he has rep­re­sented since the 1980s.

Ari­zona Gov. Doug Ducey em­braced McCain’s wife, Cindy, when the po­lice mo­tor­cade ar­rived.

Uni­formed Ari­zona Na­tional Guard mem­bers car­ried the cas­ket into the Ari­zona state capi­tol Mu­seum ro­tunda, where McCain will lie in state af­ter a pri­vate morn­ing ser­vice on what would have been his 82nd birth­day. McCain died Satur­day of brain can­cer. Black cur­tains hung in the ro­tunda at the mu­seum that hosts tourists and his­tory buffs on a typ­i­cal day as well state Capi­tol work­ers bustling from one of­fice to an­other. Ari­zona and U.S. flags en­cir­cled the room.

Be­fore the cer­e­mony started, vet­er­ans and ac­tive mil­i­tary mem­bers had staked out spots on the side­walk to wait for the hearse that brought McCain’s body from a fu­neral home to the Capi­tol. Other mil­i­tary mem­bers in uni­form con­gre­gated on the Capi­tol plaza. Vet­eran Judith Hatch handed out flags to those as­sem­bled, say­ing Ari­zona lost a cham­pion for the mil­i­tary.

“We def­i­nitely have lost a strong ad­vo­cate, so we’ll need some­one who is go­ing to step up to the plate,” Hatch said.

The cer­e­mony will in­clude re­marks from Ducey and for­mer U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, plus a bene­dic­tion from Sen. Jeff Flake. It will also mark the first ap­pear­ance of McCain’s fam­ily mem­bers since the se­na­tor died. Later in the af­ter­noon, the Capi­tol will be open to mem­bers of the public who want to pay their re­spects. The view­ing will go on as long as peo­ple are wait­ing in line, said Rick Davis, McCain’s for­mer pres­i­den­tial cam­paign man­ager.

For some Ari­zona res­i­dents, McCain has been a po­lit­i­cal fix­ture in the state for their en­tire lives. He took of­fice in the state in the early 1980s, first as a con­gress­man and then as a se­na­tor in the seat once held by Sen. Barry Gold­wa­ter. McCain is the third per­son to lie in state in the ro­tunda in the past 40 years; oth­ers were Ari­zona state Sen. Mar­i­lyn Jar­rett in 2006 and Olympic gold medal­list Jesse Owens, a Tuc­son res­i­dent, in 1980.

Thurs­day morn­ing will fea­ture a pro­ces­sion through Phoenix on the way to a me­mo­rial ser­vice at North Phoenix Bap­tist Church, with the public in­vited to line the route along In­ter­state 17.

The me­mo­rial ser­vice will in­clude mul­ti­ple trib­utes, read­ings and mu­si­cal per­for­mances, in­clud­ing a trib­ute from for­mer vice-pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den. Mu­si­cal choices in­clude a per­for­mance of “Amaz­ing Grace” by the Bro­phy Stu­dent En­sem­ble and a re­ces­sional to “My Way” by Frank Si­na­tra.

From there, McCain will de­part Ari­zona from Phoenix Sky Har­bor In­ter­na­tional Air­port. An­other view­ing will be at the U.S. Capi­tol on Fri­day, with a fi­nal me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral. A web­site lay­ing out de­tails for the ser­vices says to send any flow­ers to a lo­cal Vet­er­ans Ad­min­is­tra­tion Hospi­tal.

POOL GETTY IMAGES

Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. stands with her sons Jack and Jimmy, right, dur­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Ari­zona Capi­tol on Wed­nes­day in Phoenix, Ari­zona. McCain, a dec­o­rated war hero, died Au­gust 25 at the age of 81 af­ter a long bat­tle with brain can­cer.

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