Pence paid tribute to John McCain's military record as he remembered the late senator's service at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. While minutes before the sun had shone over the dome, as McCain, carried by an honor guard, ascended the steps, the clouds opened and rain poured down.
Bridget McCain is expected to be with her family at Friday's formal ceremony, which will be held in the Capitol Rotunda.
"It is only right that today, near the end of his long journey, John lies here, in this great hall, under this mighty dome, like other American heroes before him", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"We thank God for giving this country John McCain", McConnell said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan mentioned McCain's legacy as a political maverick, his earthy qualities and penchant for swearing, and his skill at the give-and-take needed to pass legislation.
Dabbing his eyes as he recalled his friend, Biden said McCain "could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country".
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Vice President Mike Pence also offered his condolences and memories.
McCain clashed openly with President Donald Trump, who mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War.
"He held fast to his faith in America through six decades of service. I will miss a dear friend whose smile reminded us that service is a privilege and whose scars reminded us of the great cost that courageous souls pay for our freedom".
In a show of bipartisanship sought by McCain, who was deeply involved in the memorial planning, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer participated in the presentation of the official Senate wreath.
"And so let me say to all those gathered and his beloved family, on behalf of a grateful nation, we will ever remember that John McCain served his country and John McCain served his country honorably". John McCain, R-Ariz., is at U.S. Capitol in Washington.
It was both a celebration of McCain's life and a somber reminder of the changing times. He said McCain embodied basic values including fairness, honesty and respect, and fought for civility between politicians even if they disagreed on the issues.
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Bush and Barack Obama , who blocked McCain's own White House ambitions, are among those expected to speak at McCain's funeral. McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol before being honored with a memorial service on Thursday.
Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat who shared a presidential ticket with a man who beat McCain, remembered his former Senate colleague Thursday as one of the fiercest defenders of the Senate.
"The Senator's wife brought them to the USA, because they both faced acute health challenges". The late Senator Daniel Inouye laid in state in 2012. Biden was a young senator from DE and McCain, just released from POW prison in Vietnam, was the Naval liaison to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Throughout US history, only 32 times have people "lain in state" or "lain in honor" under the soaring Capitol Rotunda, including 11 presidents and unknown soldiers from World War I to Vietnam.
The Arizona Republican died Saturday at 81 and, after a funeral service in Phoenix on Thursday, his remains were transported to Washington, D.C. His coffin was placed in the center of the Rotunda on the Lincoln catafalque, the wooden platform constructed for the 16th president's casket that has been used for all of the ceremonies in the rotunda since his memorial service.
Biden also invoked the 2015 death of his own son, Beau, from brain cancer, and that of his first wife and infant daughter in a 1972 auto accident, in offering words of sympathy to McCain's loved ones.
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John McCain , the war hero who became the GOP's standard-bearer in the 2008 election, has died. John McCain was close friends with Senator Lindsey Graham and former senator Joe Lieberman.