Senator John McCain will be laid to rest in a private burial service next Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, reports the Associated Press. The burial will take place at a cemetery overlooking Maryland’s Severn River. Various services are planned to honor the senator, who died on Saturday at 81 of brain cancer, throughout the week.
The Navy aviator, prisoner of war, congressman, longtime senator, and presidential contender will begin in his home state of Arizona on Wednesday where he will lie in the Arizona State Capitol. On what would have been his 82nd birthday on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden will give a tribute at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. On Friday, McCain will lie in Washington at the Capitol Rotunda where there will be a formal ceremony for people to pay their respects.
On Saturday, he will be part of a procession that will pass by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial before arriving at the Washington National Cathedral for another funeral service where former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will both give speeches to honor him.
The private funeral service on Sunday will take place at the Naval Academy Chapel followed by his burial in the cemetery. As he desired, he will be buried next to his classmate and close friend, Chuck Larson.
Senator McCain passed away after a year-long battle with brain cancer, which ended in his decision to stop medical treatment. Many of his friends and colleagues have expressed their grief and sorrow over his loss.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke on Sunday.
“The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., also spoke of the late senator during CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“He had a joy about politics and a love for his country that was unmatched. And while he never made it to the presidency, in the Senate, he was the leader that would see a hot spot in the world and just say, we need to go there and stand up for that democracy.”
Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of McCain as “a tireless fighter for a strong trans-Atlantic alliance. His significance went well beyond his own country.”
President Trump is not expected to attend any of the services due to his and McCain’s longtime feud. According to the Associated Press, McCain’s family requested that Trump not attend services.
Senator McCain leaves behind a long legacy. He fought as a pilot in Vietnam, where his plane was shot down and he was held as a prisoner of war for five years. He won a seat in the Senate in 1986 where he served proudly for the rest of his life.