John McCain’s body arrives at Arizona State Capitol

Heartrending moment Meghan McCain breaks down in tears as the body of her father John arrives at the Arizona State Capitol, followed by his wife Cindy and sons Jack and Jimmy

  • John McCain will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol on what would have been his 82nd birthday
  • His flag-draped coffin was taken by honor guard into the capitol
  • Cindy McCain was escorted by sons Jack, in his Navy uniform, and Jimmy, in his Army uniform
  • Sons Jack and Jimmy salute their father’s coffin
  • Meghan McCain was visibly sobbing and holding onto brother Jimmy 

The body of the late Senator John McCain arrived at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix on Wednesday, where he was escorted by his family to lie in state as his remains begin their journey to his final resting place at the U.S. Naval Academy.

His flag-draped coffin was carried by members of the Arizona National Guard into the capitol’s rotunda on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

Cindy McCain, in her first public appearance since her husband’s death, accompanied his body as did the couple’s children. 

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    Cindy McCain rests her cheek on husband John McCain’s coffin

    Cindy McCain, Jack McCain, Jimmy McCain, Meghan McCain and Bridget McCain at the state Capitol building 

    Jimmy McCain and Jack McCain salute their father’s coffin as Cindy McCain places her hand on her heart

    John McCain’s body was taken by honor guard into the Capitol

    Cindy McCain, escorted by her sons Jack and Jimmy McCain with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey 

     She was escorted by the couple’s sons Jack, in his white Navy dress uniform, who is home from Afghanistan for his father’s funeral, and Jimmy, in his Army dress uniform.

    Jack and Jimmy saluted their father’s coffin as it was taken from the hearse.  

    Meghan McCain was visibly sobbing during the morning’s events. She was escorted by her husband into the Capitol and held on to her brother Jimmy during the service.

    The day was rich in military tradition for the Vietnam War Veteran and Naval Academy graduate.

    Members of the public waved flags as McCain’s coffin was carried into the building by guard members in uniform. A police honor guard was also on hand to pay tribute.

    Cindy McCain is escorted by sons Jimmy, on left, and Jack, on right

    McCain’s body will lie in state until Thursday

    Jimmy McCain is sergeant in the Arizona National Guard, having previously been an enlisted Marine. Jack is a Navy helicopter pilot.

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a longtime friend of the family, said on Tuesday that Cindy McCain is putting one foot in front of another as she prepares for five days of memorials before the late senator is buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Sunday.

    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and his wife Angela greeted the McCain family. 

    He recalled a lunch the couple had with the McCains.

    Meghan McCain says goodbye to her father

    Cindy McCain says goodbye to her husband of 38 years

    Cindy McCain sits with her sons Jack, Jimmy, and daughter Meghan 

    Cindy McCain stands with her sons Jack (left) and Jimmy (right)

    Meghan McCain cries as she and her husband Ben Domenech follow behind the casket carrying her father John McCain into the Capital building

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        The motorcade with John McCain’s casket arrives at Arizona’s capitol


      • Watch video

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      • Watch video

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      • Watch video

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      ‘He said ‘my biggest challenge is whether or not to run for re-election in 2022.’ Dying as has been observed 50 years earlier, was not in his plan,’ Ducey said in a ceremony at the Capitol.

      ‘Imagining Arizona without John McCain is like imaging Arizona without the Grand Canyon. It’s just not possible,’ he noted.

      He concluded with praise for Cindy McCain: ‘You are a model for us and an inspiration. Arizona loves you Cindy McCain.’ 

      Sen. Jeff Flake read the benediction at the ceremony while Rep. Jim Kolbe presented a wreath.

      ‘As we go forward, let us remember thy humble servant with gladness and cheerfulness to answer his call to summon the better angels of our nature, to see and appreciate the humanity in our opponents, to more freely forgive so that we might be forgiven,’ Flake said.

      ‘Let these tears bring blooms in the desert he loved, in the country he served,’ said Father Edward Reese.

      Former Sen. Jon Kyl said the state should be proud of its senator. 

      ‘We can be proud he was our Senator. I consider it a privilege to have served with John and I will miss him as a friend and as a strong force for America in the world,’ Kyl said.

      At the ceremony’s conclusion, Cindy McCain lead the mourners in paying tribute to her husband. She walked to his coffin and placed her cheek on it before patting the flag and walking away. 

       

      There will be a memorial service for him on Thursday at the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

      At that service, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona will give a benediction. And former Vice President Joe Biden will give a tribute. 

      There will be a bag piper as “John loves bag pipe music,” Davis said.

      Additionally, McCain’s adopted daughter Bridget McCain will give a reading as will Andy McCain, his son from his first marriage. 

      After the ceremony, the Arizona National Guard will act as honor guard during a dignified transfer of remains ceremony, during which McCain’s casket will be taken aboard a presidential air lift and flown to Washington D.C.   

      McCain will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol building on Friday where lawmakers will hold a ceremony in his honor.

       

      Vice President Mike Pence will be the administration’s representative at that event and will lay a wreath. 

      House Speaker Paul Ryan will lay a House wreath and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer will lay a Senate wreath.  

      On Saturday, the McCain family will gather at the Capitol and escort McCain’s remains to the Vietnam War Memorial. There, Cindy McCain and the family will lay a wreath. 

      McCain’s funeral will take place at the National Cathedral with his daughter Megan giving the first tribute. 

      She will be followed by former Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former President George W. Bush, and former President Barack Obama. 

      Readings will be done by two of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate: Sen. Lindsay Graham and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte. 

      Musical selections will include The Navy Hymn, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and American the Beautiful sung by the Cathedral Choir and Navy Choir. 

      Additionally, as specifically requested by McCain, who had worked on his funeral arrangements in the year before his death, “Danny Boy” will be sung by opera star Renee Fleming. 

      He will be buried on Sunday in a private ceremony at Hospital Hill at the U.S. Naval Academy surrounded by his family, friends and his fellow naval academy classmates from the Class of ’58. 

       

      McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 after a long battle with brain cancer. 

      He is the third person to lie in state in the rotunda in the last 40 years; others were Arizona State Senator Marilyn Jarrett in 2006 and Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens – a Tucson resident – in 1980.

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