Former President Barack Obama were among those that paid tribute to his one-time political rival, Senator John McCain. He delivered a moving eulogy for the late Arizona senator at the Washington National Cathedral Sept. 1 that spoke of their mutual respect for each other.
Obama said: “We come to celebrate an extraordinary man, a warrior, a statesman, a patriot who embodied so much that is best in America.”
Mr. Obama, who ran against and defeated McCain in 2008, spoke after former President George W. Bush, who also defeated McCain in the 2000 Republican primary.
“He made us better presidents,” Obama said of McCain, and noted that the conservative lawmaker, understood that “some principles transcend politics, that some values transcend party.”
He also praised McCain for opposing “bending the truth to suit political expediency or party orthodoxy” and as a proponent of a “free and independent press.”
The Mercury News reports that Bush hailed McCain’s “combination of courage and decency” in a eulogy that touched on the state of the nation’s politics under Donald Trump. He also noted that McCain “detested the abuse of power,” adding “To the face of those in authority, John McCain would insist that we are better than this, America is better than this.”
When it comes to McCain’s time as a prisoner of war, Bush said he “loved freedom with the passion of a man who knew its absence.”
McCain died due to glioblastoma (an aggressive brain form of brain cancer) on Aug. 25 at age 81. His family did not invite Trump to Saturday’s service at the Washington National Cathedral, but key members of his administration were in attendance, including daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
Senator McCain who is survived by his wife, seven kids, five grandkids and his mother Roberta who is 106 years old, will be buried Sunday at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.