John McCain funeral: Hollywood star Warren Beatty to be pallbearer

Cheryl Sanders
August 28, 2018

Under heavy pressure from veterans' groups, President Trump made a rare about-face yesterday, ordering American flags at all US government buildings lowered to half-staff to honor the late Sen.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly played a leading role in convincing the President to agree to lower the flags again and issue a proclamation on McCain's death. John McCain - after many were shocked to see the White House flag at full-staff after just one day.

The president himself said Vice President Mike Pence would speak at a ceremony honoring McCain at the US Capitol on Friday.

Other contenders include Jon Kyl, who served with McCain in the Senate before and was Republican whip for a time, and Barbara Barrett, a former U.S. ambassador to Finland who unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor in 1994.

Many of us are well aware of Senator McCain's military service that was so distinct and powerful that many still find inspiration from it in this day and age. Trump, meanwhile, said in 2015 that McCain wasn't a war hero because he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

He has been an opponent of the current president and voted against the repeal of the healthcare reforms, known as Obamacare, put in place by the previous government.

So read part of Senator John McCain's final statement, as the 81-year old Senator from Arizona joined the eternal pantheon of patriots this past weekend. McCain will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol and then at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Kelli Ward, who lost a primary to McCain running from the right in 2016 and is now trying to win the GOP nomination for retiring Sen. Senators have time to decide what the best memorial for McCain is, Alexander said. But in a state with a deeply divided Republican Party, where McCain was a towering but divisive figure, the choice is far more complicated.

After Trump noted the death of McCain in a concise and rather dryly-worded tweet on Saturday, without issuing an official statement, he faced a fierce backlash from both Democrats and Republicans.

In his closing statement, McCain acknowledged he was not without his flaws but said he tried to serve the country "honorably". While McCain invited former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama to deliver speeches at his funeral, Trump was not invited to attend the service, which will be held on Saturday. But naming someone with dramatically different views from McCain could be viewed as disrespectful to McCain's legacy, carrying its own risks. Burial will be on Sunday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here", he said, adding that the country "will get through these challenging times".

Senator McCain's powerful patriotism and dedication to serving the people of the United States has undoubtedly inspired many, including me, and will continue to do so.

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