The nation is remembering the late Senator John McCain. McCain was a war hero who survived five years in a North Vietnamese prison. He went on to serve for 35 years in Congress — earning the reputation of a maverick who could work across party lines.
He died last week after a year long fight against brain cancer.
His body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol, an honor reserved for icons of government and military service.
On Thursday, the words of adoration came from military brass.
“Our nation has lost a great patriot,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said.
His best friend in the Senate also spoke.
“I do not cry for a perfect man… I cry for a man who had honor,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said.
Memories also from the other side of the aisle; from a Democrat, who like Senator McCain faced disappointment after a national election.
“(He) said, ‘Tim, you and me are the only two people out of this group of 100 that have been on a national ticket and lost and what you need to do is get right back to work,'” Senator Tim Kain of Virginia said.
This was the overriding sentiment in Washington throughout the week. And it’s why McCain will receive the high honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol, on a platform called a catafalque, first made for Abraham Lincoln.
A private ceremony in the Capitol rotunda with eulogies from the vice president and fellow lawmakers will be followed by a public viewing — continuing memorials that started in McCain’s home state of Arizona.
During a Thursday service in Phoenix — former Vice President Joe Biden quoted Shakespeare while saying his farewell.
“We shall not see his like again,” Biden said.