The six-term Republican senator, who lived and worked in the nation’s capital over four decades, is lying in state under the U.S. Capitol rotunda for a ceremony and public visitation.
McCain’s casket arrived at the Capitol Friday as his family watched from the steps. Family, friends, lawmakers and guests gathered in the vast Rotunda for a memorial service. Congressional leaders were to deliver remarks.
It’s the first of two days of services in Washington honoring the Arizona senator, who served in Congress for 35 years.
On Saturday, McCain’s procession will pause by the Vietnam Memorial and head for Washington National Cathedral for a formal funeral service. At McCain’s request, two former presidents — Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush — will speak.
President Donald Trump, who has mocked McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War, was asked to stay away, people close to the White House and the McCain family said.
McCain’s funeral puts him back in the spotlight a few miles from Trump’s doorstep, in the city where the senator, who died last Saturday at 81, worked and collected friends and enemies, some in both camps at different times. The procession was highlighting what McCain found important, some of which contrast with Trump’s style and priorities.