Cindy McCain pressed her face against the flag-draped casket of her husband, U.S. Sen. John McCain, on Wednesday and several of his children sobbed during the first of two services for the long-serving statesman and former prisoner of war before he is taken for the last time from the state he has represented since the 1980s.
The service at the Arizona Capitol marked the first appearance of McCain’s family members since the senator died Saturday of brain cancer.
During a brief private service inside the Capitol rotunda, Gov. Doug Ducey remembered McCain as a senator and internationally known figure as well as a key figure in the history of the Arizona.
While Barry Goldwater was an Arizona native, McCain was “Arizona’s favorite adopted son,” the governor said on would have been McCain’s 82nd birthday.
McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone while his father served in the military.
“Imagining an Arizona without John McCain is like picturing Arizona without the Grand Canyon,” Ducey said.
Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said he has been with McCain all around the world and that he had better instincts on when to assert U.S. power than anyone else he knew.
Kyl said he would miss McCain and that his greatest contribution was national security.