John McCain Honored at US Capitol Memorial Service

John McCain
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

McCain died on Aug. 25 after a battle with brain cancer.

Sen. John McCain on Friday is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where top elected officials are paying their respects. McCain is only the 31st person to lie in state there, an honor reserved for past presidents and the most revered public servants.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence all gave remarks honor McCain at the morning ceremony, where top government officials and McCain's family were present. In the afternoon, the American public has the chance to pay their respects.

Follow along for live updates.


Members of Congress circle through to pay respects

Current and former members of Congress circled around McCain's casket to pay their respects. The Rotunda will later be opened up to the general public.

McCain family pays their respects

Cindy McCain, the late senator's wife, came up first to pay her respects over the flag-draped casket.

She was followed by other members of the family, including McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, and mother, 106-year-old Roberta McCain.

Pence speaks about McCain's life of service

Pence gave a brief history of McCain's life. Pence is there in the stead of Mr. Trump, who is at the White House on Friday.

Pence described his time in captivity, which "did not diminish" McCain's sense of calling.

"After he made it home, John traded service in the uniform of the United States for service in Congress," Pence said.

McCain served on Capitol Hill for 35 years.

"In my years in Congress and as vice president, we didn't always agree either. And he almost always noticed," Pence said. Adding that McCain "will be missed."

McCain's 106-year-old mother present

McCain's 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain, sat closest to the podium, next to her granddaughter, Meghan McCain.

Paul Ryan: We share your anguish in losing this great man

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan followed McConnell in his remarks.

"We share your anguish in losing this great man," Ryan told McCain's family.

McConnell: We gather to recognize a great loss and celebrate a great life

Here are Senate Majority Mitch McConnell's remarks, as prepared:


Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, colleagues, distinguished guests, and the McCain family:

It's an honor to welcome you this morning.

We gather to recognize a great loss and celebrate a great life.

We celebrate six decades of devotion to the American idea and the cause of human freedom.

Generations of Americans will continue to marvel at the man who lies before us: The cocky, handsome Naval aviator who barely scraped through school, but then fought for freedom in the skies... Who witnessed to our highest values even through terrible torture... And who became a generational leader in the United States Senate, where our nation airs its great debates.


Now, "airing our great debates" is a gentle way to describe how John approached the work of a Senator.

I've long joked that his guards at the Hanoi Hilton probably needed group therapy after John was finished with them. Well, let's just say: There were times when some of his Senate colleagues were tempted to form a support group of our own.

He treated every issue with the intensity the people's business deserves. He would fight tooth and nail for his vision of the common good. Depending on the issue, you knew John would either be your staunchest ally or your most stubborn opponent.

At any moment, he might be preparing an eloquent reflection on human liberty... or a devastating joke, served up with his signature cackle and that John McCain glint in his eye.

He had America's fighting spirit, our noble idealism, our solemn patriotism, and our slightly irreverent streak -- all rolled into one.

I will miss a dear friend whose smile reminded us that service is a privilege... and whose scars reminded us of the great cost that brave souls pay for our freedom.

John felt like family. But of course, it is Cindy... and Roberta and Joe... and Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget who could truly call this man their own.

On behalf of the Senate and the entire nation -- thank you.

Thank you for lending him to us longer than we had a right. Thank you for supporting him while he supported us.


Half a world away, wearing our nation's uniform, John McCain stood up for every value that this Capitol Building represents.

Then, he brought that same patriotism inside its walls -- to advocate for our servicemembers, our veterans, and our moral leadership in the world.

So it is only right that today, near the end of his long journey, John lies here.

In this great hall, under this mighty dome, like other American heroes before him.

Here, as a "restless wave" approaches the shores of eternity... We thank God for giving this country John McCain.

Ceremony begins with chaplain's prayer

A chaplain began the ceremony with a prayer remembering McCain's military service and willingness to work with those he disagreed with.

Casket arrives inside Rotunda

Aside from the clicks of cameras, it was completely silent as McCain's casket arrived inside Capitol Rotunda, and as the service members carefully, methodically set it to rest.

Members of Congress rested their hands over their hearts as the flag-draped casket was placed in the exact middle of the room.

McCain's casket carried inside Capitol

As the sky began to pour, McCain's casket was carried inside the U.S. Capitol. His family waited atop the Capitol steps.

Motorcade arrives at Capitol

McCain's motorcade arrived at the U.S. Capitol at roughly 10:30 a.m. The motorcade is carrying the casket, as well as McCain's family.

Members of Congress, Joint Chiefs of Staff arrive

Members of Congress who served with McCain, along with Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived before 10:30 a.m. The motorcade and family is expected shortly.

Americans line up for hours to pay respects

Some Americans from around the country lined up early Friday morning to pay their respects, which they won't be able to do until the afternoon.

McCain staff enters the room

The staffers who served alongside McCain through the years entered the room at roughly 10 a.m. They are the first to do so, and will be followed by members of the House.

John McCain funeral and memorial schedule

McCain will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda through Friday afternoon so visitors can pay their respects.

A private memorial service will take place for McCain on Saturday. Former President George W. Bush and former President Barack Obama are expected to give the eulogy.

Trump not expected to attend

President Trump, whose public criticism of McCain is well documented, is not expected to attend the ceremony.

Instead, the president will be traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina, to meet with supporters. Mr. Trump's early response to McCain's death on Saturday was criticized. American flags at the White House were lowered shortly after McCain's death, but were back at full staff on Monday morning. Under public pressure, the president eventually issued a proclamation praising McCain's service and had the flag lowered once more.

This story originally appeared on CBS News on Friday, August 31, 2018 at 11:51 a.m. ET.