Before John McCain is laid to rest on Saturday, his 106-year-old mother had the chance to pay her last respects as his body laid in state at the U.S. Capitol rotunda.
Photos of the heartbreaking moment have attracted viral attention as the world remembers McCain, the Vietnam War hero who became one of the most influential senators of the last few decades. McCain died last week after a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer, leading to a week of tributes from politicians and dignitaries across the globe. This week, that included his mother, Roberta McCain.
As the Washington Post noted, many tributes to McCain have highlighted his prestigious lineage. His father and grandfather were the first father and son to become full admirals in the U.S. Navy, but the report noted that his 106-year-old mother has had quite the interesting life herself.
"Roberta, who lives in Washington, spent years crisscrossing the globe, often alongside her identical twin sister, Rowena, eager for whatever spontaneous adventure came next. She has ridden through the Jordanian desert in the dark of night, hopped a ferry to Macau and trekked through Europe on less than $5 per day."John McCain shared a close relationship with his mother throughout his life, often invoking her while on the 2008 presidential campaign trail. Reports noted that Roberta referred to her son as "Johnny," even as he rose up in a career in the U.S. Navy and then in politics.
On Friday, Roberta McCain joined other family members in paying final respects to the Arizona Senator. Her hand over her heart, John McCain's mother was brought to the edge of his flag-draped coffin where she shared a final moment beside the son she feared had died in Vietnam after his plane was shot down. John McCain's daughter, Meghan, also paid her final respects in a tearful moment.Images of the proceedings have attracted viral attention. Photos of John McCain's mother paying her respects have circulated across social media and have shot to the top of the link-sharing site Reddit. John McCain's mother and the rest of his family members will have a final chance to say goodbye on Saturday when he is laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis following a service at the Washington National Cathedral. The service will include eulogies from former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and will be covered on television networks, as well as being live-streamed online.