Saturday, September 01, 2018

John McCain Honored As A Principled Politician, Beloved Father At Washington Funeral

Friends, family and former political rivals saluted the late Sen. John McCain on Saturday as a loving father, a fierce but forgiving political brawler, and a champion of American values around the world.

The carefully choreographed service at the Washington National Cathedral was the culmination of a week of public memorials for the Arizona lawmaker, who died Aug. 25 at age 81. McCain is to be buried Sunday in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery.

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush — who both competed against McCain in battles for the White House — were among those offering tributes.

"What better way to get a last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience," Obama joked, adding it was a symbol of McCain's large spirit that while he relished political combat, he could also find common ground with former rivals.

McCain understood that "some principles transcend politics. That some values transcend party," Obama said. "We never doubted that we were on the same team."

"I was grateful, but I wasn't surprised," Obama said. "He saw himself as defending America's character, not just mine, for he considered it the imperative of every citizen who loves this country to treat all people fairly."

Bush also described tangling with McCain, who had been tortured as a POW in Vietnam and fiercely opposed harsh interrogation tactics employed by the U.S. in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Back in the day, he could frustrate me, and I know he'd say the same thing about me. But he also made me better," Bush said. "To the face of those in authority, John would insist, 'We are better than this. America is better than this.' " 

Bush described McCain as someone whose moral compass rejected the abuse of power in all its forms.

McCain's daughter Meghan delivered an emotional tribute that was both affectionate toward her father and an implicit rebuke of President Trump, who was not invited to the service.- More, NPR

John McCain Honored As A Principled Politician, Beloved Father At Washington Funeral

McCain Makes A Final Return To Washington For Rare Honors


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