John McCain memorialized as hero, fighter and jokester

Thousands pay their respects to US Sen. John McCain | New Hampshire

Larry Fitzgerald opens up on friendship with John McCain at late senator's memorial service

"It's unforgiving. And it takes so much from those we love and from the families who love them that in order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died", said Biden, who heads initiatives into cancer research.

The senator from Arizona became the 31st person to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, according to the Architect of the Capitol website, which says the country's "most eminent citizens" are given the honor.

Arizona Cardinals' Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald spoke at the memorial service for Sen.

A light rain fell as McCain's casket was carried into the Capitol by members of America's military services.

McCain passed away Saturday at the age of 81 after a yearlong battle with an aggressive brain cancer.

Meanwhile, the church's senior pastor, Noe Garcia, said Mr McCain was "a true American hero".

The service ended two days of mourning for the six-term senator in his home state.

Roberta McCain, mother of Sen.John McCain, arrives at a screening of "John McCain: For Whom The Bell Tolls" at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on May 17, 2018. He talked about McCain's character and how he parted company with those who "lacked the basic values of decency and respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself".

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Pence paid tribute to John McCain's military record as he remembered the late senator's service at a ceremony in the U.S. It was both a celebration of McCain's life and a somber reminder of the changing times .

"The President asked me to be here on behalf of a grateful nation to pay a debt of honor and respect to a man who served our country throughout his life in uniform and in public office and it's my great honor to be here", he said.

People watch the motorcade carrying the casket of U.S. Sen.

Mr Biden made the moving comments during a private memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona.

At the end of the almost 90-minute ceremony, McCain's casket was wheeled out of the church to "My Way", in tribute to a politician known for following his own path.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, McCain said Trump was "firing up the crazies"; Trump hit back, saying he likes people who weren't captured; and then McCain thwarted the Republicans' health care repeal effort.

Obama, who triumphed over McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election, said that despite their differences, McCain and he shared a "fidelity to something higher - the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed".

"The disease that took John's life - that took our friend Ted Kennedy's life. I do everything I can to avoid contact", Fitzgerald joked.

"But, I know something else, unfortunately, from experience, that there's nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now".

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Talking about how much the Senate had changed since he and McCain arrived, Biden rebuked the current political state in the country as he glared at the U.S. senators in attendance at the service.

The memorial was laced with humor and featured a racially and ethnically diverse roster of speakers and other participants.

Gov. Doug Ducey remembered McCain as "Arizona's favorite adopted son" on what would have been his 82nd birthday at the brief ceremony attended by his wife and children, friends and fellow politicians.

As the 11-vehicle motorcade with a 17-motorcycle police escort made its way toward the church, people along the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route held signs that read simply "McCain", and cars on the other side of the highway stopped or slowed to a crawl in apparent tribute.

"We both loved the Senate".

On Wednesday, several thousand admirers stood in line for hours in the blazing Arizona sun and triple-digit heat to pay final respects to McCain, eventually filing past his flag-draped coffin as it lay in state in the Arizona Capital rotunda.

Ahead of the service Thursday morning, the line for people with tickets to sit in the public section wrapped halfway around the block-sized church.

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