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Obama, Bush pay tribute to John McCain at cathedral service

Obama, Bush pay tribute to John McCain at cathedral service

Senator John McCain was laid to rest on Sunday (September 2) at the U.S. Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain died of brain cancer on August 25 aged 81.

At the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Vice President Pence remembered McCain as a champion of America's armed forces.

Obama asked. "So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage".

In stirring words, Obama explained that McCain called on the nation to be better and bigger than "politics that pretends to be courageous and tough but in fact is borne in fear". "To the face of those in authority, John would insist, we are better than this".

Mr Obama told the congregation: "We come to celebrate an extraordinary man, a warrior, a statesman, a patriot who embodied so much that is best in America". "Nobody who was at that funeral did not get invited by the family", he said.

Vice President Mike Pence - standing in for the president with whom McCain frequently feuded, Donald Trump - hailed the senator as a man of iron will who never backed down from a fight.

She said: "My father was a great man". More than 3,000 family, friends, congressional colleagues and staff, and US and global leaders filled the cathedral for the invitation-only event.

"There's a lesson to be learned this week about John McCain", said Graham, R-S.C.

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"I will miss him", Senator Jeff Flake tweeted Sunday along with a photo of him and McCain, in which the former pilot wore a Navy hat. "Washington Mourned John McCain".

Some wondered why, despite the lack of an invitation, the president would attend an event that turned into a Trump-bashing session.

"Religiously, I feel their body is there, but their soul is on to the next world", said Lieberman.

Said Obama about the relationship he forged with McCain after their 2008 contest, "When all was said and done, we were on the same team". A funeral will be held Thursday at North Phoenix Baptist Church where former Vice President Joe Biden will speak.

Fighting back tears, McCain's daughter listed her father's many accomplishments on and off the battlefield before noting, "These are all the titles and the roles of a life that has been well-lived, but they are not the greatest of his titles, nor the most important of his roles".

Obama's predecessor George W. Bush, another vanquisher of McCain's presidential ambitions who was asked to eulogize him, said the senator, who lay in a casket covered in the American flag, lived by a set of "public virtues that brought strength and objective to his life and to his country".

The president, pointedly excluded from all the McCain events, had a hard week. Larson died in 2014, and McCain wrote in his recent memoir that he wanted to be buried next to his friend, "near where it began".

For all of John McCain's exalted titles - war hero, Senator, presidential candidate - Meghan McCain said she loved him best as a father. McCain endured almost six years of torture in captivity after being shot down as a Navy pilot over Hanoi, but later became a champion of postwar reconciliation and was a widely admired figure in Vietnam.

"He came through it and served his country more as opposed to the current occupier of the White House", he said.